The interrelationship between violence, HIV/AIDS, and drug use in incarcerated women

Ruth M. Harris, Phyllis W. Sharps, Karen Allen, Elizabeth H. Anderson, Karen Soeken, Acharaporn Rohatas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine how violence co-occurs with drug use and HIV/AIDS high-risk behaviors among women incarcerated for drug use. This study was a supplement to a larger, experimental study designed to reduce HIV/AIDS high-risk behaviors among incarcerated female drug users. The women who participated (N = 170) reported that violence was a major part of their lives and affected many of their behaviors. Among these 170 women, 26.6% used condoms for oral sex, 46.4% for vaginal intercourse, and 65% were either sexually or physically abused. Intimate partner abuse was reported by 33.9% of the women. About 16% reported forced sexual activity, and 17.5% feared their partners. Women who refused to give oral sex to their male partners and those who insisted on condom use during oral sex prior to jail were more likely to be sexually or physically abused (χ2 = 4.104; χ2 = 3.886, p < .05, respectively). Although statistically significant interrelationships were not found among the three variables, significant bivariate relationships were found between intimate violence and HIV/AIDS high-risk behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-40
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Drug use
  • Violence
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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