Exploring Receipt of HIV PEP Counseling Among Women Sexually Assaulted by an Intimate Partner

Janice Du Mont1, 2, *, Lily Van1, Daisy Kosa3, Sheila Macdonald3
1 Women’s College Research Institute, Women’s College Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2 Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
3 Ontario Network of Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centres, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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© 2018 Du Mont et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Women’s College Research Institute, Women’s College Hospital, 76 Grenville St, 6th Floor, Toronto, Ontario, Canada,, M5S 1B2; Tel: 416-351-3732, Ext. 2705; E-mail: janice.dumont@wchospital.ca


Among 136 women sexually assaulted by a current or former male intimate partner presenting to hospital-based violence treatment centers, 58 (42.6%) received HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (HIV PEP) counseling by a specially trained sexual assault nurse. We identified factors that were associated with receipt of HIV PEP counseling. Those who received counseling were more likely to have been younger than 25 years of age, single, a student, vaginally penetrated, and have received various other services (e.g., STI prophylaxis). They were less likely to have been unemployed. Hospital-based violence treatment centers need to be aware that not all women sexually assaulted by an intimate partner will have the same risk of acquisition of HIV and care needs.

Keywords: Sexual assault, Intimate partner, HIV, Post-exposure prophylaxis, Counseling, Violence.