Dr. James Mwaura, PhD,Prof Elizabeth N. Ngugi, PhD and Dr David Nguti, PhD
The objective of this comparative retrospective study was to establish whether diagnosis of HIV infection during pregnancy mitigates or exacerbates male spouse perpetrated physical abuse during pregnancy. A modified Conflict Tactics Scale 2 was administered to case group comprising 96 HIV infected pregnant women, and comparison group (96 uninfected), all in their third trimester of pregnancy upon consenting. Results indicated higher prevalence and severity of male spouse perpetrated abuse across both minor and severe physical assault subscales for case than comparison group. The odds of male spouse perpetrated violence was 6.64-fold higher in HIV positive pregnant women than their HIV negative counterparts (OR = 6.64, 95% CI 1.56-28.27, p = 0.010). Utilization of both cognitive and emotional negotiation skills by male spouses of case group deteriorated after diagnosis of couple HIV infection. The investigator recommends intensive couple counseling and follow up care for both concordant positive and discordant couples.