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Perpetration of partner violence and HIV risk behaviour among young men in the rural Eastern Cape, South Africa

Dunkle, Kristin La,b; Jewkes, Rachel Kb; Nduna, Mzikazid; Levin, Jonathanc; Jama, Nwabisab; Khuzwayo, Nelisiweb; Koss, Mary Pe; Duvvury, Nataf

doi: 10.1097/01.aids.0000247582.00826.52
Epidemiology and Social

Objectives: To examine associations between the perpetration of intimate partner violence and HIV risk behaviour among young men in rural South Africa.

Design: An analysis of baseline data from men enrolling in a randomized controlled trial of the behavioural intervention, Stepping Stones.

Methods: Structured interviews with 1275 sexually experienced men aged 15–26 years from 70 villages in the rural Eastern Cape. Participants were asked about the type, frequency, and timing of violence against female partners, as well as a range of questions about HIV risk behaviours.

Results: A total of 31.8% of men reported the perpetration of physical or sexual violence against female main partners. Perpetration was correlated with higher numbers of past year and lifetime sexual partners, more recent intercourse, and a greater likelihood of reporting casual sex partners, problematic substance use, sexual assault of non-partners, and transactional sex. Men who reported both physical and sexual violence against a partner, perpetration both before and within the past 12 months, or more than one episode of perpetration reported significantly higher levels of HIV risk behaviour than men who reported less severe or less frequent perpetration of violence.

Conclusion: Young men who perpetrate partner violence engage in significantly higher levels of HIV risk behaviour than non-perpetrators, and more severe violence is associated with higher levels of risky behaviour. HIV prevention interventions must explicitly address the links between the perpetration of intimate partner violence and HIV risk behaviour among men, as well as the underlying gender and power dynamics that contribute to both.

From the aBehavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

bGender and Health Research Unit, South Africa

cBiostatistics Unit, Medical Research Council, Private Bag X385, Pretoria 0001, South Africa

dManagement Sciences for Health, Pretoria, South Africa

eCollege of Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA

fInternational Council for Research on Women, Washington DC, USA.

Received 7 April, 2006

Accepted 8 August, 2006

Correspondence to Kristin L. Dunkle, MPH PhD, Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, 1520 Clifton Road NE, Room 226, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. Tel: +1 404 712 4702; fax: +1 404 712 4299; e-mail: kdunkle@sph.emory.edu

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.