A study by the South African Medical Research Council has found that women in abusive relationships are more likely to become infected with HIV.

Researchers say that South African women in unequal relationships had a higher rate of HIV infection compared to women who had more equality in their relationships.

Researchers also say that addressing inequalities in relationships could prevent nearly 14 percent of new HIV infections.  Nearly 12 percent of new infections could be prevented if women were not physically or sexually abused by their partners.

The South African Medical Research Council is calling on the World Health Organization and other groups to develop and widely implement policies and programs that build gender equality and prevent domestic violence.