Fertility intention and use of contraception among women living with the human immunodeficiency virus in Oromia Region, Ethiopia
Background: The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic resulted in decreased fertility among HIV-positive women, who did not want to transmit the virus to their unborn children. With the availability of antiretroviral therapy that suppresses viral load, HIV-infected women live normal lives and even acknowledge the desire and intention to have children, a factor that is rarely acknowledged in antiretroviral therapy (ART) clinic services. This study examined fertility intentions and contraception use among a sample of women attending an ART clinic in Oromia Region, Ethiopia.
Methods: A quantitative, cross-sectional and descriptive design was used on a sample of 362 HIV-positive women. Data were collected using a researcher-administered questionnaire.
Results: The ages of the participants ranged from 18 to 49 years and most were between the ages of 23 and 32. A desire and intention to fall pregnant was reported by 46.6% (n = 158) of the participants. A total of 114 (35.5%) had given birth after they were diagnosed with HIV and 4% were pregnant at the time of the study. Of the study participants who wanted to have children, 60.7% (n = 82) planned to have a child within two years. In the period before they were diagnosed with HIV, most participants used injectable contraceptives but this changed to using the condom after they were diagnosed with HIV.
Conclusion: The high number of women who have both the desire and intention to have children among this sample of HIVpositive women requires that reproductive health services need to include family planning as an essential component of reproductive health services. The change to using the condom as a contraceptive method indicates the positive impact of health promotion received at ART clinic.
Keywords: contraception use, fertility intention, HIV infections, pregnant women