Domestic violence shelters as prevention agents for HIV/AIDS?

Michele A. Rountree, Elizabeth C. Pomeroy, Flavio Marsiglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The article reports findings from a pilot study of 21 domestic violence shelters in a southwestern state in the United States. The survey instrument included descriptive information on shelter service delivery. Specifically, questions were asked about the practice of assessing a client's risk of HIV/AIDS, the provision of HIV/AIDS educational and prevention programs within shelters, and information about organizational characteristics that facilitate or impede the existence of these services. The findings suggest that shelters lacked sufficient HIV/AIDS policies and programs to respond to their client's heightened risk of infection. Although 19 (90.5 percent) of the shelters reported that they routinely ask about their clients' sexual abuse histories, there was no link between a woman's disclosure of sexual abuse and a subsequent provision of appropriate HIV/AIDS services (referrals for testing, treatment) by the shelter. HIV/AIDS awareness was high among the shelter staff who responded to the survey, but HIV/AIDS prevention and education were practically nonexistent. Implications for social work practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-228
Number of pages8
JournalHealth and Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Domestic violence shelters
  • Education
  • Prevention
  • Risk assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)


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