Background: The Philippines is one of the few countries in the world where incidence of both HIV and intimate partner violence (IPV) continue to rise. There is conflicting evidence on the association between intimate partner violence (IPV) with HIV testing however, and such an analysis involving Filipino respondents has not been carried out before. Our paper thus aims to study the relationship between IPV and HIV testing. As a secondary objective, we aim to assess the effect of confiding their IPV experiences to other people on HIV testing.
Methods: We used data from the 2017 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey, only including participants on its domestic violence module. We used logistic regression methods for survey data to study the associations of interest.
Results: Out of 17,968 respondents, around 16% of respondents reported experiencing any form of IPV, 13% reported experiencing emotional violence, 7% reported experiencing physical violence, and 3% reported experiencing sexual violence, with even a smaller percentage confiding their experience to other people. After adjusting for confounders, those who have experienced emotional violence have a higher odds of HIV testing as compared to those who have never experienced emotional violence. The odds of HIV testing are lower among those who have experienced any form of violence, physical violence, and sexual violence as compared to respondents who have not experienced any form of violence or these specific types of violence. More worryingly, the odds of HIV testing among victims of these types of IPV and have confided with other people are lower than those who have never been a victim of IPV or those who have not confided being a victim of IPV. None of the associations of interest have a statistically significant result.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that there is a need to further improve access to HIV testing services among victims of IPV by making tests for HIV and other STIs part of the standard of care for IPV victims. By doing so, we can meet the ‘first 90’ of the 90-90-90 UNAIDS targets.