Women living with HIV/AIDS face multiple challenges—including increased risk for intimate partner violence (IPV) and housing instability. We know that the combination of HIV, violence, and insecure housing can have dramatic repercussions on women’s health.
Studies indicate that over half (55%) of U.S. women living with HIV have experienced IPV. Women who experience violence are less likely to start antiretroviral therapy or to take their medication as prescribed, and they are more likely to die of HIV-related illnesses.
They also experience housing instability at a much higher rate than other women. Studies show that, in general, women who experience IPV are four times more likely than their peers to report housing insecurity. And the lack of safe and stable housing is associated with increased risk for violence among women living with HIV.
The good news is that providing safe and stable housing can have a significant positive impact on efforts to decrease violence against women with HIV and improve their health outcomes.
To achieve that outcome, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of HIV/AIDS Housing have partnered to coordinate their expertise and resources to address the housing needs of this vulnerable population.
This collaboration will enable HUD to award transitional housing assistance grants to organizations that will provide housing and support services for HIV-positive women who are victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking. Eligible housing grantees will partner with local domestic-violence and sexual-assault service providers to offer support, services, and advocacy to improve the lives of women living with HIV/AIDS and ensure better long-term health outcomes for them.
Additional information is forthcoming, and updates will be available at www.HUDExchange.info .