Relationship Power and Sexual Violence Among HIV-Positive Women in Rural Uganda

Amy A. Conroy, Alexander C. Tsai, Gina M. Clark, Yap Boum, Abigail M. Hatcher, Annet Kawuma, Peter W. Hunt, Jeffrey N. Martin, David R. Bangsberg, Sheri D. Weiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Gender-based power imbalances place women at significant risk for sexual violence, however, little research has examined this association among women living with HIV/AIDS. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of relationship power and sexual violence among HIV-positive women on anti-retroviral therapy in rural Uganda. Relationship power was measured using the Sexual Relationship Power Scale (SRPS), a validated measure consisting of two subscales: relationship control (RC) and decision-making dominance. We used multivariable logistic regression to test for associations between the SRPS and two dependent variables: recent forced sex and transactional sex. Higher relationship power (full SRPS) was associated with reduced odds of forced sex (AOR = 0.24; 95 % CI 0.07–0.80; p = 0.020). The association between higher relationship power and transactional sex was strong and in the expected direction, but not statistically significant (AOR = 0.47; 95 % CI 0.18–1.22; p = 0.119). Higher RC was associated with reduced odds of both forced sex (AOR = 0.18; 95 % CI 0.06–0.59; p < 0.01) and transactional sex (AOR = 0.38; 95 % CI 0.15–0.99; p = 0.048). Violence prevention interventions with HIV-positive women should consider approaches that increase women’s power in their relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2045-2053
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Africa
  • Relationship power
  • Sexual violence
  • Transactional sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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