WHGI Publications & Resources

The Year-Long Effect of HIV-Positive Test Results on Pregnancy Intentions, Contraceptive Use and Pregnancy Incidence among Malawian Women

Publication Year: 2008
Objectives: To estimate the effect of receiving HIV-positive test results on intentions to have future children and on contraceptive use and to assess the association between pregnancy intentions and pregnancy incidence among HIV-positive women in Malawi.

Methods: Women of unknown HIV status completed a questionnaire about pregnancy intentions and contraceptive use and then received HIV voluntary counseling and testing (VCT). Women who were HIV-positive and not pregnant were enrolled and followed for 1 year while receiving HIV care and access to family planning (FP) services.

Results: Before receiving their HIV test results, 33% of women reported a desire to have future children; this declined to 15% 1 week later (P < 0.0001) and remained constant throughout follow-up. Contraceptive use increased from 38% before HIV testing to 52% 1 week later (P < 0.0001) and then decreased to 46% by 12 months. The pregnancy incidence among women not reporting a desire to have future children after VCT was less than half of the incidence among women reporting this desire.

Conclusions: With knowledge of their HIV-positive status, women were less likely to desire future pregnancies. Pregnancy incidence was lower among women not desiring future children. Integration of VCT, FP, and HIV care could prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission.

Link to File: https://journals.lww.com/jaids/Fulltext/2008/04010/The_Year_Long_Effect_of_HIV_Positive_Test_Results.10.aspx