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Pregnancy and contraception - the perspective of HIV-positive and negative women


To understand pregnancy intentions and contraception knowledge and use among HIV-positive and negative women in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) program.


A cross-sectional survey of 236 HIV-positive and 162 HIV-negative postpartum women interviewed within 12 months of their expected delivery date in a public-sector health facility providing PMTCT services.


Bi-variant analyses explored fertility intentions, and family planning knowledge and use by HIV status. Multivariate analysis identified socio-demographic and service delivery-related predictors of reporting a desire for additional children and modern family planning use.


HIV-positive women were less likely to report wanting additional children than HIV-negative women (8 vs. 49%, P < 0.001), and although a majority of women reported discussing family planning with a health worker during their last pregnancy (HIV-positive 79% vs. HIV-negative 69%, P = 0.0), modern family planning use remained low in both groups (HIV-positive 43% vs. HIV-negative 12%, P < 0.001). Condoms were the most commonly used method among HIV positive women (31%), whereas withdrawal was most frequently reported among HIV-negative women (19%). In multivariate analysis, HIV-negative women were 16 times more likely to report wanting additional children and nearly 85% less likely to use modern family planning. Women who reported making two or less antenatal care visits were 77% less likely to use modern family planning.


Our results highlight success in provision of family planning counseling in PMTCT services. As family planning use was low among HIV-positive and negative women, further efforts are needed to improve uptake of modern methods, including dual protection, in the PMTCT settings.

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Correspondence to Chinedu O Oraka.

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  • Family Planning
  • Additional Child
  • Fertility Intention
  • Pregnancy Intention
  • Antenatal Care Visit