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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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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Oraka, C.O., Egbunu, T.S. & Ani, S.C. Pregnancy and contraception - the perspective of HIV-positive and negative women. Retrovirology 9 (Suppl 1), P78 (2012).

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