Children who have been sexually abused are more likely to engage in behaviours which place them at risk for HIV as adults said Ayanna Webster-Roy, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for the National AIDS Co-ordinating Committee, Gender and Child Affairs, Ecclesiastical Affairs, and Central Administrative Services, Tobago.
Webster-Roy also said violence against women is associated with increased risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections which are risk factors for HIV.
“Fear of violence and other negative social outcomes also act as barriers to women’s ability to access HIV prevention tools and services. Violence and trauma can lead to lower adherence to treatment. Violence can also occur as a result of HIV status for example violence arising out of disclosing one’s status to a partner. Sexual violence against men and boys is also a significant problem.
“Rape and other forms of sexual coercion directed against men and boys take place in a variety of settings including the home, the workplace, and schools, on the streets, in the military, in prisons extra," she said.