Original Research

Contraceptive practices amongst HIV-positive women on antiretroviral therapy attending an ART clinic in South Africa

Ezekiel E. Oni, Andrew Ross, Stephan van der Linde
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 5, No 1 | a461 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v5i1.461 | © 2013 Ezekiel E. Oni, Andrew Ross, Stephan van der Linde | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 May 2012 | Published: 08 May 2013

About the author(s)

Ezekiel E. Oni, Department of Family Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Andrew Ross, Department of Family Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Stephan van der Linde, Department of Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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Background: Effective contraceptive practices amongst HIV-positive women of reproductive age have been shown to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV by preventing unplanned pregnancies. However, most antiretroviral therapy (ART) programmes focus on treatment,neglecting comprehensive contraceptive services. This results in a high frequency of pregnancies amongst HIV-positive women attending the ART clinic of a regional hospital north of Durban.

Objectives: This research aimed to explore contraceptive use amongst HIV-positive women attending an ART clinic by determining, (1) prevalence of contraceptive use, (2) pregnancy rate, (3) contraceptive preferences and (4) factors associated with contraceptive use.

Methods: In this observational, analytical, cross-sectional study of 420 women, aged 15to 49 years, participants were selected by systematic random sampling. They completed standardised questionnaires.

Results: Of all participants, 95% of the participants used contraception. Factors associated with contraceptive practice were knowledge of HIV status 292 (72.8%), health worker advice 84 (20.9%), and spousal insistence 33 (8.2%). Of the 130 women (31%) who had fallen pregnant whilst on ART, 73 (56.2%) said that the pregnancy had been unplanned, whilst 57 (43.8%) had wanted to fall pregnant because of: partner’s insistence (45.6%), desire for a child (36.8%),desire to conceal HIV status (15.8%), not wanting to die childless (5.3%), and death of aprevious child (1.8%).

Conclusion: Contraceptive use amongst these women was high but the number of pregnancies is a cause for concern. Information regarding contraceptive use should therefore be providedat all ART clinics.


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