Identifying the prevalence and correlates of stds among women residing in rural domestic violence shelters

Gina M. Wingood, Ralph J. DiClemente, Anita Raj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study uses a cross-sectional study design to assess the prevalence and abuse-related correlates of STDs among women (n = 203) residing in rural and nonurban domestic violence shelters, a venue in which health care providers could intervene by providing STD prevention counseling, diagnosis and treatment. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the prevalence and correlates of self-reported STDs among women residing in domestic violence shelters. In this sample, 99% of women reported being physically abused in the prior 2 months, 55% reported being sexually abused and 43% reported being raped. Further, 33% of women reported acquiring an STD during their abusive relationship, 13.3% reported acquiring multiple STDs and 9.2% reported acquiring an STD in the 2 months prior to entering the shelter. In this sample having a history of rape, having an unfaithful partner and fear negotiating condom use were all associated with having an STD history. Coordinating STD services with domestic violence shelters could reach a high-risk population that is not traditionally targeted by STD programs, could increase early detection of STDs, may increase access to and improve the quality of STD-related care, particularly among rural populations, and could be cost-effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalWomen and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2000


  • Intimate partner abuse
  • Rural women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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