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Experiences of gender-based violence among HIV-positive Rwandan women beyond the period of disclosure and implications for HIV programming

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The relationship between gender-based violence (GBV) and HIV has gained prominence in the field of public health. In the context of Rwanda, poverty and the lasting affects of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide further complicate this relationship. In partnership with Women’s Equity in Access to Care and Treatment, an HIV treatment centre in Kigali, Rwanda, this study uses qualitative research methods to capture the experiences of GBV among HIV-positive Rwandan women. Participants spoke to the variety of ways that living openly with HIV shaped their experience of GBV and interacted with their experience of gender inequities in access to land and resources. Women framed their experience of GBV as including; being prevented from seeking medical care and an inability to assert agency in sexual relationships. Exploring how women jointly experience GBV and HIV can provide insight into future public health practice and research on the relationship between GBV and HIV.
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