University of Illinois at Chicago
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Social Support, Intimate Partner Violence and Quality of Life among Women Living with HIV in Ruili, China

posted on 2021-05-01, 00:00 authored by Yi Li
Women are increasingly burdened with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) globally at a time when the availability of antiretroviral therapy (ARV) has turned HIV and acquired immune-deficiency syndrome (AIDS) into a chronic condition. Despite a growing literature examining the life of women living with HIV/AIDS (WLHA) in Africa and the western world, much less is known about the experiences of WLHA in Asia. With quality of life (QoL) becoming one of the primary goals of long-term HIV management, data is urgently needed to understand the challenges facing WLHA in settings that differ from the existing body of research. Social support and intimate partner violence (IPV) also have emerged in the scientific literature as core factors influencing the well-being of WLHA, yet they largely remain unexplored within the context of a low resource environment. Migrant women are of special concern because they are at high risk for HIV. Despite the plethora of evidence that cross-border migration elevates the risk of adverse health outcomes among women, little is known about how migration intersects with social support, IPV, and QoL of WLHA. Social support is known to be challenged during acculturation for migrants, poses critical impact on IPV and also has proved instrumental to a better quality of life. How these intersecting outcomes play out among WLHA under the influence of cross-border migration is the question driving this study. This study set out to address the prominent gap in knowledge among a population of WLHA with male partners in Ruili, China, a location where one of the nation’s HIV epicenter meets a population flow that crosses the border from Myanmar into China. The specific study aims are: (1) to assess perceived social support among the WLHA and to see if migration status differentiates the sizes of perceived support, (2) to investigate if and how migration, social support, and a set of partnership variables predict IPV risk among these women, and (3) to evaluate the quality of life among WLHA and how it is associated with migration, social support and IPV.



Hershow, Ronald C


Hershow, Ronald C


Public Health Sciences-Epidemiology

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Degree name

PhD, Doctor of Philosophy

Committee Member

Levy, Judith A Freels, Sally Johnson, Timothy P Donenberg, Geri

Submitted date

May 2021

Thesis type



  • en

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