Saturday, October 23, marks the eighth annual National Day of Action to End Violence Against Women Living With HIV, which is spearheaded by the Positive Women’s Network–USA (PWN-USA).

On the eve of the event, PWN-USA held a Zoom discussion about women, HIV and intimate partner violence on its Facebook page. Hosted by Crystal Townsend, the event featured panelists Tiommi Luckett, Kat Griffith and Michelle Anderson. Watch the discussion in the post below.

The day of action draws attention to the fact that women living with HIV are more likely to experience intimate partner violence than HIV-negative women. According to PWN-USA, 55% of women living with HIV have experienced intimate partner violence. In addition, women living with HIV are five times more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than the general population.

Intimate partner violence includes rape, physical and sexual assault, and stalking. It is linked to HIV among women in various ways. For example, research published in 2019 found that HIV rates among women were lower in states whose health care systems aggressively targeted intimate partner violence.

National Day of Action to End Violence Against Women Living With HIV coincides with similar events in October, which is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Another event from PWN-USA is a podcast featuring the national HIV group’s codirector Naina Khanna. Titled “An Epidemic of Criminalization: HIV, Equity and Racial Justice,” the podcast explores why HIV decriminalization “is important to keeping our communities safe.”

According to the latest data on, in 2019, women made up 20% of new HIV cases in the United States, or 6,830 cases. In 2018, nearly half of women diagnosed with HIV lived in areas with high poverty, and nearly half lived in areas with a high proportion of uninsured people.

For more information about HIV and women, such as how the virus affects women differently than men and how HIV affects gynecologic health, see POZ Basics on HIV and Women.

POZ Poll: Have you ever experienced intimate partner violence?