To determine the factors associated with resumption of sexual activity and regular menses after childbirth among women infected with HIV-1.
Information on¬†sociodemographic, behavioral, and clinical factors was obtained from 2 HIV¬†perinatal¬†studies (NVAZ¬†and¬†PEPI¬†trials) conducted in Malawi, 2000‚Äì2009. Factors associated with resumption of sexual activity and menses were analyzed using Cox proportional hazard models.
A total of 1838 women from the¬†NVAZ¬†study and 2982 women from the¬†PEPI¬†study were included in the analysis. Resumption of sexual activity was primarily associated with¬†sociodemographic¬†factors (e.g. in the¬†PEPI¬†study, marital status [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 0.56,¬†P¬†<¬†0.001], use of contraceptive method [aHR¬†8.0,¬†P¬†<¬†0.001], and breastfeeding [aHR¬†0.52,¬†P¬†<¬†0.001]), whereas resumption of regular menses in the¬†PEPI¬†study was primarily associated with biological factors (e.g. plasma viral load [aHR¬†0.89,¬†P¬†<¬†0.006], and breastfeeding [aHR¬†0.23,¬†P¬†<¬†0.001).
HIV-infected women need adequate counseling to take into account their HIV infection status before resuming sexual activity after childbirth.