South African Family Practice

The AJOL site is currently undergoing a major upgrade, and there will temporarily be some restrictions to the available functionality.
-- Users will not be able to register or log in during this period.
-- Full text (PDF) downloads of Open Access journal articles will be available as always.
-- Full text (PDF) downloads of subscription based journal articles will NOT be available
We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please check back soon, as we will revert to usual policy as soon as possible.

Contraceptive knowledge and practice among HIV-positive women receiving antiretroviral therapy at a district hospital in KwaZulu-Natal

YS Somera, A Ross


Objectives: To determine the knowledge and use of contraceptives by HIV-positive women attending an ART clinic.
Design: Observational descriptive cross-sectional study.
Setting and subjects: Many human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive South African women fall pregnant each year while receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). In 2010, 2 056 women of childbearing age attended the ART clinic at a district hospital south of Durban. Between October 2010 and June 2011, data were collected using a validated questionnaire from
400 women on their contraceptive knowledge and use. Women over 18 years of age who consented to participate, and who had been receiving ART for more than a month, were eligible for participation in the study.
Outcome measures: Contraceptive knowledge and use.
Results: All participants had received counselling on male condom use. The majority of HIV-positive women receiving ART preferred the male condom as their contraception of choice. Knowledge of male condoms was excellent, but only 66% of the study group used condoms, and just over 50% used a dual method of contraception (male condoms plus another
contraceptive method). While 97% of participants were knowledgeable about injectable contraception, only 40% used the latter as a form of contraception. Ninety-two per cent of the participants reported recent sexual activity, 14% had fallen pregnant while receiving ART, and 64% planned on having a child in the future.

Conclusion: The low use of dual contraception was a cause for concern. Recommendations include the integration of family planning services into HIV care at all ART sites. This should promote proper fertility management for women receiving ART.

Keywords: contraceptive knowledge, practice, HIV-positive women, antiretroviral therapy
AJOL African Journals Online