Violence against women is one of the main causes of HIV/AIDSin Ghana's three northern regions, according to research by the antipoverty nongovernmentalorganization Action Aid Ghana and reported by Ghana News.

According to the article, the research revealed rapeand forced marriages increased women's vulnerability to the disease. The fearof violence also prevented women from negotiating safer sex.

Stigma, abusive language and physical assault prevented themfrom testing and disclosing their status. Domestic violence led many women toleave their homes and join the sex trade. Most of the women didn't know aboutlaws to protect them.

The researchers recommended religious and communityleaders should speak out against this brutality and that the government shouldreview its policies and programs on domestic abuse.