Role of intimate partner violence in increasing sexually transmitted infection-related risk among women in India: A propensity score matching analysis
Background: Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) against women can have direct consequences on women’s health. Despite evidence from many developing nations that IPV is linked to both reproductive tract diseases and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), no research has yet been done to prove this connection in the context of India. Therefore, a quasi-experimental approach known as propensity score matching (PSM) is used to explore the connection between IPV and self-reported STIs in India, attempting to establish a causal link between the two.
Data & methods: A nationally representative sample of 63851 women age 15 to 49 years is obtained from the National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-21). In this study, the treatment variable is taken as “ever experience of physical, emotional, or sexual violence”. The main outcome is self-reported STIs. The study uses both binary logistic regression and PSM with common support to accomplish the objective of the study. For matching, we consider confounding variables such as the respondent’s current age, education, working status, social group, religion, use of condom, drinking of alcohol, place of residence, region of residence, wealth index factor score, husband/partner’s education, mass media exposure, interaction with healthcare workers.
Results: About 32% of sampled women reported any physical, emotional, or sexual violence at the time of the survey. Among all sorts of IPVs the prevalence of physical violence is highest among women (29%). Women who experienced IPV in the last 12 months were 2 times more likely to self-report STIs compared to those who did not experience any IPV. After PSM, it is found that the women who suffered IPV, especially sexual and emotional violence, had 15% and 11% higher STIs than those who did not experience any sort of IPV.Conclusion: To reduce the burden of STIs in women which is one of the key health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, imperative efforts and interventions must be intensified in India to reduce IPV. Also, it is important to screen for STIs among women who present with IPV particularly those with sexual violence.