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Title

INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE AND RISKY SEXUAL BEHAVIORS AMONG IRANIAN WOMEN WITH SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS

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Abstract

 Background: INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE (IPV) and risky sexual behaviors are serious and overlapping public health problems that disproportionately affect drug-involved women. Despite the fact that drug-using women experience extensive IPV, to date, no studies have investigated the association of IPV and risky sexual behaviors among drug-using women in Iran.Methods: Drug-using women (N=120) were recruited from a rehabilitation center in Tehran from March to October, 2009. The Revised Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS2), a standardized questionnaire, was used to collect data regarding violence. We used t-test and logistic regression models to explore the relationship between IPV domains and specific sexual risk behavior outcomes using SPSS 21.Results: The means (sd) for CTS2 domains were as follows: negotiation 4.29 (1.55), psychological violence 2.55 (1.51), sexual violence 0.37 (1.00), physical abuse 1.17 (1.49), injury 2.18 (1.97), and the mean total score was 1.69 (0.96). We found significantly higher injury scores, but lower sexual abuse scores among women with sexually-transmitted infection (STI) compared to women without STI (p-values 0.030 and<0.0001, respectively). In addition, we found that psychological abuse was positively associated with STI (p-value 0.03) and increased condom use (p=0.010), possibly mediated through an increased likelihood of having multiple partners.Conclusion: The findings revealed that in Iran drug-involved women experience high rates of IPV and that IPV is associated with increased risky sexual behavior. Implication: Preventive interventions for violence that are integrated within drug treatment programs, as well as harm reduction programs are highly recommended.

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