Spousal Violence and HIV in India- Epidemiologic Study and the RHANI Wives Intervention Evaluation

We conducted some of the first research documenting the intersection of HIV and IPV (intimate partner violence) with a representative sample of adults in India. This research documented that abusive male partners were more likely to heavily drink, go to female sex workers and be HIV and STI-infected, relative to non-abusive husbands. We developed the RHANI Wives Intervention, an HIV prevention program for women contending with husbands’ spousal violence and heavy alcohol use in Mumbai slums characterized by high rates of HIV. A two-armed randomized controlled trial evaluating RHANI Wives demonstrated significant reductions in unprotected marital sex and significant improvements in marital condom use among intervention participants relative to control condition participants. A reduction in marital discord and sexual coercion among intervention participants was also observed.
*Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Indian Council on Medical Research and other grants.



Silverman JG, Decker MR, Saggurti N, Balaiah D, Raj A. Intimate partner violence and HIV infection among married Indian women. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2008 Aug 13; 300(6):703-10. PMID: 18698068.

Decker MR, Seage GR III, Hemenway D, Raj A, Saggurti N, Balaiah D, Silverman JG. Intimate partner violence functions as both a risk marker and risk factor for women’s HIV infection: findings from Indian husband-wife dyads. Journal of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. 2009 Aug 15; 51(5):593-600. PMID: 19421070.

Decker MR, Miller E, Raj A, Saggurti N, Donta B, Silverman JG. Indian men's use of commercial sex workers: prevalence, condom use, and related gender attitudes. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS). 2010 Feb; 53(2):240-6. PMID: 19904213.

Raj A, Saggurti N, Lawrence D, Balaiah D, Silverman JG. Association between adolescent marriage and marital violence among young adult women in India. International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (IJGO). 2010 Jul; 110(1):35-9. PMCID: PMC3260080.

Saggurti N, Nair S, Malviya A, Decker MR, Silverman JG, Raj A. Male migration/mobility and HIV among married couples: Cross-sectional analysis of nationally representative data from India. AIDS and Behavior. 2011 Aug 3. PMID: 21811841.

Dasgupta A, Battala M, Saggurti N, Nair S, Naik DD, Silverman JG, Balaiah D, Raj A. Local social support mitigates depression among women contending with spousal violence and husband's risky drinking in Mumbai Slum Communities. 2013; 145(1), 126-129. PMID: 22877967.

Primary Investigator
Anita Raj, PhD

Jennifer B. Yore

Where We Work
  • South Asia