Gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS in South Africa: organisational responses

Case Studies & Research
Centre for AIDS Development, Research and Evaluation, CADRE
South Africa. Department of Health

The linkages between HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence have been identified in a recent literature review (Kistner 2003). For example: forced sexmay directly increase the risk of HIV transmission as a result of physical trauma; violence or threats of violence may limit the ability to negotiate safer sex; inadequacies in justice systems may result in a disincentive to reporting rape and/or seeking post-exposure prophylaxis; childhood sexual abuse may lead to sexual risk taking in later life; and sharing HIV results may increase the risk of a violent response by a partner Organisations working in the field of gender-based violence are increasingly noting the impacts of sexual violence-related HIV infection, and are adopting integrated approaches in their programmes, analyses, training and advocacy work. There are, however, few inter-sectoral linkages. Addressing the intersections between HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence requires re-orientation in social policies and organisational practices. This report provides insight into organisational experiences and perspectives of the obstacles encountered and approaches to addressing related issues. It can be used to facilitate the formulation of thinking on gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS, and assist in shaping programmatic interventions.

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