African Journal of AIDS Research

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The role of pregnancy intention in HIV prevention in South Africa: a proposed model for policy and practice

Marjorie R Sable, M Kay Libbus, Debra Jackson, Harry Hausler


Mother-to-child transmission is a continuing source of new HIV infections in South Africa. The paper posits that insight into the socio-cultural, behavioural, environmental and economic factors that sustain the HIV epidemic is as important as understanding the biological causes of the disease when planning and implementing interventions to prevent and reduce perinatal transmission. Furthermore, understanding the pregnancy intentions of individuals in areas of endemic HIV/AIDS is vital for providing the best care for individuals who are HIV-positive. This paper suggests a model for types of support and interventions that are relative to the intention of HIV-positive women or couples to become pregnant. Included among these are interventions for prevention of unwanted pregnancy, prevention of transmission of HIV, protection of the infant, and protection of the mother.

Keywords: conceptual framework; family planning services; health management; HIV prevention; interventions; maternal health; support services; vertical transmission

African Journal of AIDS Researc 2008, 7(2): 159–165
AJOL African Journals Online