Jennifer Velloza spent a year crisscrossing the grass-covered plains and sloping hills of rural Swaziland, dividing her time among ten medical clinics in this small southern African country. Here, nearly one in four people have HIV — and that rate is even higher among women.
As a study manager for Doctors Without Borders, Velloza saw many pregnant and postpartum women struggle to get the HIV testing and treatment they needed, because they were also suffering from sexual trauma, depression or anxiety.
“Women who are dealing with intimate partner violence may be afraid to come to the clinic or may not have the means or financial independence apart from their significant other,” Velloza says. “HIV and intimate partner violence also often coincide with depression. If you’re depressed, you may lose the ability, foresight and desire to take care of yourself and your health. If you’re afraid of being told you have HIV, you might feel depressed.”
Read the entire article on the University of Washington website. Jennifer Velloza, a senior fellow in the Department of Global Health's International Clinical Research Center (ICRC), is quoted.