Relationship between intimate partner violence and antiretroviral adherence and viral suppression in pregnancy

Lynn M. Yee*, Mary Crisham Janik, Robin M. Dorman, Phyllis S. Chong, Patricia M. Garcia, Emily S. Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of clinical factors that influence maternal to child transmission (MTCT) of HIV. Study design: Retrospective cohort study of pregnant women living with HIV (WLHIV) who received prenatal care in a multidisciplinary perinatal HIV clinic (2007–2014). All women were assessed for IPV status during pregnancy by a social worker and/or health psychologist. Records were abstracted for obstetric information and factors associated with MTCT of HIV, including antenatal visit attendance, adherence to antiretroviral regimen, time until viral suppression after initiation of antiretroviral medications, HIV RNA at 36 weeks and at delivery, and preterm birth. Women who reported IPV were compared to those who did not using bivariable and multivariable logistic and linear regression analyses. Results: Of 215 women receiving care during the study period, 91.6% (N = 197) had documentation of IPV history. Of these women, 13.7% (N = 27) reported experiencing IPV during pregnancy. Women who reported IPV were less likely to be completely adherent to antiretroviral doses (38.5% vs. 62.0%, p = 0.039) and required significantly more time to achieve stable virologic suppression (16.0 vs. 8.5 weeks, p = 0.010). Time to achieve suppression remained significant in multivariable models (β 4.68, 95% CI 0.03–9.32). Conclusion: IPV during a pregnancy complicated by HIV appears to be associated with decreased antiretroviral adherence. Pregnant WLHIV who reported IPV exhibited delays in achieving virologic suppression. These women represent a vulnerable population who may require additional support and interventions to reduce the risk of MTCT of HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-11
Number of pages5
JournalSexual and Reproductive Healthcare
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • HIV
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevention of maternal-to-child transmission
  • Vertical transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


Dive into the research topics of 'Relationship between intimate partner violence and antiretroviral adherence and viral suppression in pregnancy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this