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Examining HIV Risk, Relationship Power and Partner Violence in Cebu, Philippines

Cebu, Philippines


The complex interplay between intimate partner violence (IPV) and HIV risk requires further research, particularly in focusing on the dyadic factor of relationship power and its influence on IPV and HIV risk. With the long term goals of building a body of research that informs the development of interventions that address both IPV and HIV risk, the applicant proposes a cross-sectional mixed methods study, based in the Philippines and sampling young adults (male and female aged 20-24) and their partners. The specific aims of the research are (1) to examine the relationships between IPV perpetration and/or victimization on HIV risk among Filipino young adults, (2) to determine the level of agreement between reports of male and female partners'' reports of HIV risk, IPV, and relationship power, (3) to evaluate intimate relationship power as a potential mediator or moderator in the relationship between IPV and HIV risk, and (4) to explore gender and societal norms that influence IPV, intimate relationship power and HIV risk among a sub-sample of Filipino young adults and their partners. Participants will be from the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey (CLHNS) (n=483) and will include the interviewed married or cohabitating partners (n=438) for Aim 2. Both groups will be purposively sampled to participate in focus groups for Aim 4. This study will be based in the Philippines where HIV prevalence is still low, but HIV risk is high as several societalfactors such as heavy migration, commercial sex industry, increasingly younger sexual debut and limited widespread HIV knowledge put the country at risk for an explosion of HIV cases. Using a mixed methods approach, a cultural, social, and institutional context will be sought in qualitative focus groups to augment and explain the relationships first examined in the quantitative section. This study will add to the limited data on the interplay between IPV, relationship power, and HIV risk, and is critical to modify existing intervention and prevention efforts addressing the linkage between IPV and HIV. This proposal is aligned with the NIMH Division of AIDS and Health and Behavior Research (DAHBR) initiative to "support innovative, interdisciplinary HIV prevention research designed to better understand individual, dyadic, community, social, and structural factors that impact HIV risk-reduction in order to improve sustained preventive behaviors." The proposed study is relevant to public health in the Philippines as well as in the United States, where Filipino immigrants compose 20% of the Asian population, with nearly 70% being foreign bom. Further understanding of the link between IPV and HIV risk will contribute to the development of culturally sensitive, preventive interventions that target both mitigation of IPV and prevention of HIV transmission.


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