Voluntary contraceptive use by HIV-positive women currently prevents more HIV-positive births, at a lower cost, than anti-retroviral drug (ARV) regimens. Despite this evidence, most prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programs focus solely on providing ARV prophylaxis to pregnant women and rarely include the prevention of unintended pregnancies among HIV-positive women.
To strengthen support for family planning as HIV prevention, we systematically identified key individuals in the field of international HIV/AIDS—those who could potentially influence the issue—and sought to determine their perceptions of barriers to and facilitators for implementing this PMTCT strategy. We used a criteria-based approach to determine which HIV/AIDS stakeholders have the most significant impact on HIV/AIDS research, programs, funding and policy and stratified purposive sampling to conduct interviews with a subset of these individuals. The interview findings pointed to obstacles to strengthening linkages between family planning and HIV/AIDS, including the need for: resources to integrate family planning and HIV services, infrastructure or capacity to provide integrated services at the facility level, national leadership and coordination, and targeted advocacy to key decision-makers.
The individuals we identified as having regional or international influence in the field of HIV/AIDS have the ability to leverage an increasingly conducive funding environment and a growing evidence base to address the policy, programmatic and operational challenges to integrating family planning with HIV/AIDS. Fostering greater support for implementing contraception for HIV prevention will require the dedication, collaboration and coordination of many such actors. Our findings can inform a targeted advocacy campaign.
Preventing unintended pregnancy among HIV-positive women constitutes a critical and cost-effective approach to primary prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and is a global public health priority for addressing the desperate state of maternal and child health in HIV hyper-endemic settings. We sought to investigate whether the prevalence of contraceptive use and method preferences varied by HIV status and receipt of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) among women in Soweto, South Africa.
We used survey data from 563 sexually active, non-pregnant women (18–44 years) recruited from the Perinatal HIV Research Unit in Soweto (May–December, 2007); 171 women were HIV-positive and receiving HAART (median duration of use = 31 months; IQR = 28, 33), 178 were HIV-positive and HAART-naïve, and 214 were HIV-negative. Medical record review was conducted to confirm HIV status and clinical variables. Logistic regression models estimated adjusted associations between HIV status, receipt of HAART, and contraceptive use.
Overall, 78% of women reported using contraception, with significant variation by HIV status: 86% of HAART users, 82% of HAART-naïve women, and 69% of HIV-negative women (p<0.0001). In adjusted models, compared with HIV-negative women, women receiving HAART were significantly more likely to use contraception while HAART-naïve women were non-significantly more likely (AOR: 2.40; 95% CI: 1.25, 4.62 and AOR: 1.59; 95% CI: 0.88, 2.85; respectively). Among HIV-positive women, HAART users were non-significantly more likely to use contraception compared with HAART-naïve women (AOR: 1.55; 95% CI: 0.84, 2.88). Similar patterns held for specific use of barrier (primarily male condoms), permanent, and dual protection contraceptive methods.
Among HIV-positive women receiving HAART, the observed higher prevalence of contraceptive use overall and condoms in particular promises to yield fewer unintended pregnancies and reduced risks of vertical and sexual HIV transmission. These findings highlight the potential of integrated HIV and reproductive health services to positively impact maternal, partner, and child health.
Objective. Despite recommendations for concurrent use of contraceptives and condoms to prevent unintended pregnancy and STIs, multimethod contraceptive use among women is poor. This study examined individual-, interpersonal-, and environmental-level factors that predict multimethod use among sexually active adolescent women diagnosed with psychological disorders. Methods. This multisite study analyzed data from 288 sexually active adolescent women who provided sociodemographic, psychosocial, and behavioral data related to birth control and condom use. Results. 34.7% of the participants reported multimethod use in the past three months. Controlling for empirically and theoretically relevant covariates, a multivariable logistic regression identified self-efficacy, multiple partners, pregnancy history, parental communication, parental norms about sex, and neighborhood cohesion as significant predictors of multimethod use. Conclusions. While continued targeted messages about multi-method contraceptive use are imperative at the individual level, an uptake in messages targeting interpersonal- and environmental-level factors such as adolescents' parents and the broader community is urgently needed.
To estimate trends in contraceptive use, especially long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) and condoms, among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-seropositive and HIV-seronegative women.
HIV-seropositive and HIV-seronegative women in a multicenter longitudinal cohort were interviewed semiannually between 1998 and 2010 about sexual behaviors and contraceptive use. Trends in contraceptive use by women aged 18–45 years who were at risk for unintended pregnancy but not trying to conceive were analyzed using generalized estimating equations.
Condoms were the dominant form of contraception for HIV-seropositive women and showed little change across time. Fewer than 15% of these women used no contraception. Between 1998 and 2010, LARC use rose among HIV-seronegative women from 4.8% (6/126) to 13.5% (19/141, p=0.02), but not significantly among seropositive women (0.9% (4/438) to 2.8% (6/213, p = 0.09). Use of highly effective contraceptives, including pills, patches, rings, injectable progestin, implants and intrauterine devices, ranged from 15.2% (53/348) in 1998 to 17.4% (37/213) in 2010 (p = 0.55). HIV-seronegative but not seropositive LARC users were less likely than nonusers to use condoms consistently (HR=0.51, 95% C.I. 0.32–0.81, p = 0.004 for seronegative women; HR = 1.09, 95% C.I. 0.96, 1.23 for seropositive women).
Although most HIV-seropositive women use contraception, they rely primarily on condoms and have not experienced the increase in LARC use seen among seronegative women. Strategies to improve simultaneous use of condoms and LARC are needed to minimize risk of unintended pregnancy as well as HIV transmission and acquisition of sexually transmitted infections.
Background. HIV infected women in sub-Saharan Africa
are at substantial risk of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
In developing countries including Ethiopia counseling and provision of modern
contraceptives of choice to HIV infected women including those on antiretroviral
therapy (ART) is an important strategy to prevent unintended pregnancies and
sexually transmitted infections. Little is known about the existing practices and
utilization of modern contraceptives among HIV positive reproductive age
women attending ART units. Objective. The aim of this study
was to assess utilization of modern contraceptives and associated factors
among HIV positive reproductive age women attending ART units in zonal
hospitals of Tigray region, North Ethiopia. Method. Institution
based cross-sectional study was conducted by interviewing 364 HIV positive
reproductive age women in all zonal hospitals of Tigray region using systematic
sampling technique. Structured and pretested questionnaire was used to obtain
information from the respondents. Descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate
methods were used to analyze utilization of modern contraceptives and the
factors associated with it. Result. Three hundred sixty-four
subjects participated with a response rate of 99.2%. The mean age of the respondents was 31.9 ± 6.5 (SD) years. About 46% of participants utilized modern
contraceptives, 59.9% out of them used dual method. However, a
significant proportion of the respondents (46%) reported that they
wished to have a desire for children. Being secondary education and
higher (AOR: 2.85; 95% CI: 1.17–6.95) and currently on
HAART (AOR: 3.23; 95% CI: 1.49–7.01) they were more
likely to utilize modern contraceptive. But those women who were
≥25 years old, house wives, single, divorced, or widowed were
less likely to utilize modern contraceptive. Conclusion.
Results of this study revealed that the number of respondents who were ever heard of modern contraceptives was high.
However, modern contraceptive
utilization was still low. Additional efforts are needed to promote modern
contraceptive utilization in general and dual method use in particular among
HIV positive reproductive age women.
In Curaçao is a high incidence of unintended pregnancies and induced abortions. Most of the induced abortions in Curaçao are on request of the woman and performed by general practitioners. In Curaçao, induced abortion is strictly prohibited, but since 1999 there has been a policy of connivance. We present data on the relevance of economic and socio-cultural factors for the high abortion-rates and the ineffective use of contraception.
Structured interviews to investigate knowledge and attitudes toward sexuality, contraception and abortion and reasons for ineffective use of contraceptives among women, visiting general practitioners.
Of 158 women, 146 (92%) participated and 82% reported that their education on sexuality and about contraception was of good quality. However 'knowledge of reliable contraceptive methods' appeared to be - in almost 50% of the cases - false information, misjudgements or erroneous views on the chance of getting pregnant using coitus interruptus and about the reliability and health effects of oral contraceptive pills. Almost half of the interviewed women had incorrect or no knowledge about reliability of condom use and IUD. 42% of the respondents risked by their behavior an unplanned pregnancy. Most respondents considered abortion as an emergency procedure, not as contraception. Almost two third experienced emotional, physical or social problems after the abortion.
Respondents had a negative attitude toward reliable contraceptives due to socio-cultural determined ideas about health consequences and limited sexual education. Main economic factors were costs of contraceptive methods, because most health insurances in Curaçao do not cover contraceptives. To improve the effective use of reliable contraceptives, more adequate information should be given, targeting the wrong beliefs and false information. The government should encourage health insurance companies to reimburse contraceptives. Furthermore, improvement of counseling during the abortion procedure is important.
Unintended pregnancies lead to unsafe abortions, which are a leading cause of preventable maternal mortality among young women in Uganda. There is a discrepancy between the desire to prevent pregnancy and actual contraceptive use. Health care providers' perspectives on factors influencing contraceptive use and service provision to young people aged 15-24 in two rural districts in Uganda were explored.
Semi-structured questionnaires were used for face- to-face interviews with 102 providers of contraceptive service at public, private not-for-profit, and private for-profit health facilities in two rural districts in Uganda. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used in the analysis of data.
Providers identified service delivery, provider-focused, structural, and client-specific factors that influence contraceptive use among young people. Contraceptive use and provision to young people were constrained by sporadic contraceptive stocks, poor service organization, and the limited number of trained personnel, high costs, and unfriendly service. Most providers were not competent enough to provide long-acting methods. There were significant differences in providers' self-rated competence by facility type; private for-profit providers' competence was limited for most contraceptives. Providers had misconceptions about contraceptives, they had negative attitudes towards the provision of contraceptives to young people, and they imposed non-evidence-based age restrictions and consent requirements. Thus, most providers were not prepared or were hesitant to give young people contraceptives. Short-acting methods were, however, considered acceptable for young married women and those with children.
Provider, client, and health system factors restricted contraceptive provision and use for young people. Their contraceptive use prospects are dependent on provider behavior and health system improvements.
In Uganda, adolescent pregnancy often results in adverse maternal and neonatal health outcomes. In this context, low use of contraception and high rates of maternal mortality rate make preventing unwanted pregnancies critical.
The objective was to determine the relationship between non-use of contraception and socio-demographic factors, alcohol consumption, and types of partner(s) among Ugandan university students.
In 2010, 1,954 students at Mbarara University of Science and Technology in southwestern Uganda participated in a cross-sectional study whereby a self-administered questionnaire was used to assess socio-demographic factors, alcohol consumption, and sexual behaviour including the use of contraceptives. Multivariable logistic regression was used for the analysis and data were stratified by sex.
1,179 students (60.3% of the study population) reported that they were sexually active. Of these, 199 (18.6%) did not use contraception in their last sexual encounter. Students currently not in a relationship had higher odds of non-use of contraception (odds ratio 1.8, 95% confidence interval 1.2–2.7). The association remained statistically significant for both males and females after controlling for age, sexual debut, area of growing up, and educational level of the household head. Socio-demographic determinants of age (22 or younger), early sexual debut (at age 16 years or earlier), and a rural background were significant for males but not for females. A synergistic effect between not currently being in a relationship and early sexual debut were also observed to have an effect on the non-use of contraception.
Non-use of contraception among Ugandan university students differs for males and females, possibly due to gendered power relations. Sexual and reproductive health policies and programmes should be designed to take these differences into account.
contraception; Uganda; sexual debut; gender; pregnancy; sexual behaviour
Unwanted pregnancy and HIV infection are issues of significant concern to young people. Limited data exists on contraceptive decision-making and practices among HIV-infected and HIV-negative young people in low resource settings with generalized HIV epidemics.
From July 2007 until April 2009, we recruited, and followed up over a one year period, a cohort of 501 HIV-negative and 276 HIV-infected young women and men aged 15-24 years residing in Kampala and Wakiso districts. We compared contraceptive use among HIV-infected and HIV-negative young people and assessed factors associated with contraceptive decision-making and use, using multivariate logistic regression modelling to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Contraceptive use among sexually active HIV-infected young people was 34% while it was 59% among the HIV-negative group. The condom was the most frequently used method of contraception. Only 24% of the HIV-infected used condoms consistently compared to 38% among the negative group OR 0.56 (95% CI 0.38, 0.82). HIV-infected young people were more likely to discuss safe sex behaviour with health workers OR 1.70 (95% CI 1.13, 2.57), though its effect on fertility decision-making was not significant. Throughout the year's follow-up, only 24% among the HIV-negative and 18% among the HIV-infected continued to use contraception while 12% and 28% among the HIV-negative and infected respectively did not use contraception at all. At multivariate analysis, the HIV-infected young people were less likely to maintain contraceptive use. Other factors independently associated with sustained contraceptive use were age of the respondent, marital status and being a male. Conversely, HIV-infected young people were less likely to initiate use of contraception. Being married or in a relationship was associated with higher odds of initiating contraceptive use.
Compared to the HIV-negative group, sexually active HIV-infected young people are less likely to use contraception and condoms. Initiating or sustaining contraceptive use was also significantly less among the HIV-infected group. Strengthening family planning services and developing new innovative ideas to re-market condom use are needed. Policy and guidelines that empower health workers to help young people (especially the HIV infected) express their sexuality and reproduction should urgently be developed.
Family planning is an important public health intervention with numerous potential health benefits for all women. One of those key benefits is the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, through the prevention of unintended pregnancies among women living with HIV.
We conducted a systematic review of the effectiveness of family planning counseling interventions for HIV infected women in low- and middle-income countries.
We found nine articles which met the inclusion criteria for this review, all from Africa. Though these studies varied in the specifics of the interventions provided, research designs and measures of outcomes, key features were discernible. Providing concerted information and support for family planning use, coupled with ready access to a wide range of contraceptive methods, seemed most effective in increasing use. Effects on pregnancy overall were difficult to measure, however: no studies assessed the effect on unintended pregnancy.
Though these results are far from definitive, they do highlight the need for strengthened efforts to integrate family planning counseling and access to services into HIV prevention, and for greater consistency of effort over time. Studies which specifically investigate fertility intentions and desires of women living with HIV, contraception use following interventions to increase knowledge, awareness, motivation and access to the means to act on those intentions and unintended pregnancies would be valuable to help clinic personnel, programme planners and policy makers guide the development of the integrated services they offer.
HIV; Family planning; Counseling; Systematic review
Contraception can reduce the dual burden of high fertility and high HIV prevalence in sub-Sahara Africa, but significant barriers remain regarding access and use. We describe factors associated with nonuse of contraception and with use of specific contraceptive methods in HIV positive and HIV negative Rwandan women. Data from 395 HIV-positive and 76 HIV-negative women who desired no pregnancy in the previous 6 months were analyzed using univariate and multivariate logistic regression models to identify clinical and demographic characteristics that predict contraceptive use. Differences in contraceptive methods used were dependent on marital/partner status, partner's knowledge of a woman's HIV status, and age. Overall, condoms, abstinence, and hormonal methods were the most used, though differences existed by HIV status. Less than 10% of women both HIV+ and HIV− used no contraception. Important differences exist between HIV-positive and HIV-negative women with regard to contraceptive method use that should be addressed by interventions seeking to improve contraceptive prevalence.
HIV discordant heterosexual couples are faced with the dual challenge of preventing sexual HIV transmission and unplanned pregnancies with the attendant risk of perinatal HIV transmission. Our aim was to examine uptake of two long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods – intrauterine devices (IUDs) and hormonal implants – among HIV discordant couples in Rwanda and Zambia.
Women were interviewed alone or with their partner during routine cohort study follow-up visits to ascertain fertility goals; those not pregnant, not infertile, not already using LARC, and wishing to limit or delay fertility for ≥3 years were counseled on LARC methods and offered an IUD and implant on-site.
Among 409 fertile Rwandan women interviewed (126 alone, 283 with partners), 365 (89%) were counseled about LARC methods and 130 (36%) adopted a method (100 implant, 30 IUD). Of 787 fertile Zambian women interviewed (457 alone, 330 with partners), 528 (67%) received LARC counseling, of whom 177 (34%) adopted a method (139 implant, 38 IUD). In both countries, a woman’s younger age was predictive of LARC uptake. LARC users reported fewer episodes of unprotected sex than couples using only condoms.
Integrated fertility-goal based family planning counseling and access to LARC methods with reinforcement of dual-method use prompted uptake of IUDs and implants and reduced unprotected sex among HIV-discordant couples in two African capital cities.
contraception; family planning; HIV; intrauterine devices; implant
Women living with HIV have fertility desires and intentions that are similar to those of uninfected women, and with advances in treatment most women can realistically plan to have and raise children to adulthood. Although HIV may have adverse effects on fertility, recent studies suggest that antiretroviral therapy may increase or restore fertility. Data indicate the increasing numbers of women living with HIV who are becoming pregnant, and that many pregnancies are unintended and contraception is underutilized, reflecting an unmet need for preconception care (PCC). In addition to the PCC appropriate for all women of reproductive age, women living with HIV require comprehensive, specialized care that addresses their unique needs. The goals of PCC for women living with HIV are to prevent unintended pregnancy, optimize maternal health prior to pregnancy, improve maternal and fetal outcomes in pregnancy, prevent perinatal HIV transmission, and prevent HIV transmission to an HIV-uninfected sexual partner when trying to conceive. This paper discusses the rationale for preconception counseling and care in the setting of HIV and reviews current literature relevant to the content and considerations in providing PCC for women living with HIV, with a primary focus on well-resourced settings.
Objective. To describe the prevalence and correlates of dual-contraceptive methods use (condoms and an effective pregnancy prevention method) and barriers to their use among married persons living with HIV (PLHIV) in India. Methods. We conducted a quantitative survey (93 men, 97 women), 25 in-depth interviews, seven focus groups, and five key informant interviews. Results. Prevalence of dual- contraceptive method use increased from 5% before HIV diagnosis to 23% after diagnosis (P < 0.001). Condoms were the most common contraceptive method, with prevalence increasing from 13% before diagnosis to 92% after diagnosis (P < 0.001). Barriers to using noncondom contraceptives were lack of discussion about noncondom contraceptives by health care providers, lack of acceptability of noncondom contraceptives among PLHIV, and lack of involvement of husbands in family planning counseling. Conclusion. There is a need for interventions, including training of health care providers, to increase dual-contraceptive methods use among married PLHIV.
Globally, unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) persist as significant threats to women’s reproductive health. Barriers to the use of modern contraceptives by women might inhibit uptake of novel woman-controlled methods for preventing STIs/HIV. Use of modern contraceptives and perceptions and attitudes towards contraceptive use were investigated among women in Antananarivo, Madagascar using qualitative research. The hypothetical acceptability of the diaphragm, a woman-controlled barrier contraceptive device that also holds promise of protecting against STI/HIV, was assessed. Women consecutively seeking care for vaginal discharge at a public health clinic were recruited for participation in a semi-structured interview (SSI) or focus group discussion (FGD). Audiotaped SSIs and FGDs were transcribed, translated, and coded for predetermined and emerging themes. Of 46 participating women, 70% reported occasional use of male condoms, mostly for preventing pregnancy during their fertile days. Although women could name effective contraceptive methods, only 14% reported using hormonal contraception. Three barriers to use of modern contraceptives emerged: gaps in knowledge about the range of available contraceptive methods; misinformation and negative perceptions about some methods; and concern about social opposition to contraceptive use, mainly from male partners. These results demonstrate the need for programs in both family planning and STI prevention to improve women’s knowledge of modern contraceptives and methods to prevent STI and to dispel misinformation and negative perceptions of methods. In addition, involvement of men will likely be a critical component of increased uptake of woman-controlled pregnancy and STI/HIV prevention methods and improved health.
Some people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) want to have children while others want to prevent pregnancies; this calls for comprehensive services to address both needs. This study explored decisions to have or not to have children and contraceptive preferences among PLHIV at two clinics in Uganda.
This was a qualitative cross-sectional study. We conducted seventeen focus group discussions and 14 in-depth interviews with sexually active adult men and women and adolescent girls and boys, and eight key informant interviews with providers. Overall, 106 individuals participated in the interviews; including 84 clients through focus group discussions. Qualitative latent content analysis technique was used, guided by key study questions and objectives. A coding system was developed before the transcripts were examined. Codes were grouped into categories and then themes and subthemes further identified.
In terms of contraceptive preferences, clients had a wide range of preferences; whereas some did not like condoms, pills and injectables, others preferred these methods. Fears of complications were raised mainly about pills and injectables while cost of the methods was a major issue for the injectables, implants and intrauterine devices. Other than HIV sero-discordance and ill health (which was cited as transient), the decision to have children or not was largely influenced by socio-cultural factors. All adult men, women and adolescents noted the need to have children, preferably more than one. The major reasons for wanting more children for those who already had some were; the sex of the children (wanting to have both girls and boys and especially boys), desire for large families, pressure from family, and getting new partners. Providers were supportive of the decision to have children, especially for those who did not have any child at all, but some clients cited negative experiences with providers and information gaps for those who wanted to have children.
These findings show the need to expand family planning services for PLHIV to provide more contraceptive options and information as well as expand support for those who want to have children.
Family planning; Fertility; HIV; Contraception
Higher than expected pregnancy rates have been observed in HIV related clinical trials in Sub-Saharan Africa. We designed a qualitative study to explore the factors contributing to high pregnancy rates among participants in two HIV clinical trials in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Female and male participants enrolled in one of two clinical HIV trials in south-west Uganda were approached. The trials were a phase III microbicide efficacy trial among HIV negative women using vaginal gel (MDP); and a trial of primary prevention prophylaxis for invasive cryptococcal disease using fluconazole among HIV infected men and women in Uganda (CRYPTOPRO). 14 focus group discussions and 8 in-depth interviews were conducted with HIV positive and negative women and their male partners over a six month period. Areas explored were their experiences about why and when one should get pregnant, factors affecting use of contraceptives, HIV status disclosure and trial product use.
All respondents acknowledged being advised of the importance of avoiding pregnancy during the trial. Factors reported to contribute to pregnancy included; trust that the investigational product (oral capsules/vaginal gel) would not harm the baby, need for children, side effects that led to inconsistent contraceptive use, low acceptance of condom use among male partners. Attitudes towards getting pregnant are fluid within couples over time and the trials often last for more than a year. Researchers need to account for high pregnancy rates in their sample size calculations, and consider lesser used female initiated contraceptive options e.g. diaphragm or female condoms. In long clinical trials where there is a high fetal or maternal risk due to investigational product, researchers and ethics committees should consider a review of participants contraceptive needs/pregnancy desire review after a fixed period, as need for children, partners and health status of participants may alter over time.
The prevention of unintended pregnancies among HIV positive women is a neglected strategy in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Women who want to avoid unintended pregnancies can do this by using a modern contraceptive method. Contraceptive choice, in particular the use of long acting and permanent methods (LAPMs), is poorly understood among HIV-positive women. This study aimed to compare factors that influence women's choice in contraception and women's knowledge and attitudes towards the IUD and female sterilization by HIV-status in a high HIV prevalence setting, Cape Town, South Africa.
A quantitative cross-sectional survey was conducted using an interviewer-administered questionnaire amongst 265 HIV positive and 273 HIV-negative postpartum women in Cape Town. Contraceptive use, reproductive history and the future fertility intentions of postpartum women were compared using chi-squared tests, Wilcoxon rank-sum and Fisher's exact tests where appropriate. Women's knowledge and attitudes towards long acting and permanent methods as well as factors that influence women's choice in contraception were examined.
The majority of women reported that their most recent pregnancy was unplanned (61.6% HIV positive and 63.2% HIV negative). Current use of contraception was high with no difference by HIV status (89.8% HIV positive and 89% HIV negative). Most women were using short acting methods, primarily the 3-monthly injectable (Depo Provera). Method convenience and health care provider recommendations were found to most commonly influence method choice. A small percentage of women (6.44%) were using long acting and permanent methods, all of whom were using sterilization; however, it was found that poor knowledge regarding LAPMs is likely to be contributing to the poor uptake of these methods.
Improving contraceptive counselling to include LAPM and strengthening services for these methods are warranted in this setting for all women regardless of HIV status. These study results confirm that strategies focusing on increasing users' knowledge about LAPM are needed to encourage uptake of these methods and to meet women's needs for an expanded range of contraceptives which will aid in preventing unintended pregnancies. Given that HIV positive women were found to be more favourable to future use of the IUD it is possible that there may be more uptake of the IUD amongst these women.
PMTCT; Contraception; Fertility intentions; Unintended pregnancies; HIV; IUD; Female sterilization
Background. Preventing unintended pregnancy in HIV-positive women can significantly reduce maternal-to-child HIV transmission as well as improve the woman's overall health. Hormonal contraceptives are safe and effective means to avoid unintended pregnancy, but there is concern that coadministration of antiretroviral drugs may alter contraceptive efficacy. Materials and Methods. We performed a literature search of PubMed and Ovid databases of articles published between January 1980 and February 2012 to identify English-language reports of drug-drug interactions between hormonal contraceptives (HCs) and antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). We also reviewed the FDA prescribing information of contraceptive hormone preparations and antiretrovirals for additional data and recommendations. Results. Twenty peer-reviewed publications and 42 pharmaceutical package labels were reviewed. Several studies of combined oral contraceptive pills (COCs) identified decreased serum estrogen and progestin levels when coadministered with certain ARVs. The contraceptive efficacy of injectable depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) and the levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) were largely unaffected by ARVs, while data on the contraceptive patch, ring, and implant were lacking. Conclusions. HIV-positive women should be offered a full range of hormonal contraceptive options, with conscientious counseling about possible reduced efficacy of COCs and the contraceptive implant when taken with ARVs. DMPA and the LNG-IUS maintain their contraceptive efficacy when taken with ARVs.
HIV-infected women need highly effective contraception to reduce unintended pregnancies and mother-to-child HIV transmission. Previous studies report conflicting results regarding the effect of hormonal contraception (HC) on HIV disease progression.
HIV-infected women in Uganda and Zimbabwe were recruited immediately after seroconversion; CD4 testing and clinical exams were conducted quarterly. The study endpoint was time to AIDS (two successive CD4 ≤200 cells/mm3 or WHO advanced stage 3 or stage 4 disease). We used marginal structural Cox survival models to estimate the effect of cumulative exposure to depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) and oral contraceptives (OC) on time to AIDS.
303 HIV-infected women contributed 1,408 person-years (py). 111 women (37%) developed AIDS. Cumulative probability of AIDS was 50% at 7 years and did not vary by country. AIDS incidence was 6.6, 9.3 and 8.8 per 100py for DMPA, OC and non-hormonal users. Neither DMPA (adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) = 0.90; 95% CI 0.76-1.08) nor OCs (AHR =1.07; 95% CI 0.89-1.29) were associated with HIV disease progression. Alternative exposure definitions of HC use during the year prior to AIDS or at time of HIV infection produced similar results. STI symptoms were associated with faster progression while young age at HIV infection (18-24 years) was associated with slower progression. Adding baseline CD4 level and setpoint viral load to models did not change the HC results but subtype D infection became associated with disease progression.
Hormonal contraceptive use was not associated with more rapid HIV disease progression but older age, STI symptoms and subtype D infection were.
HIV; disease progression; hormonal contraception; family planning; women
Obese women have higher rates of pregnancy complications, making the prevention of unintended pregnancies in this group of particular importance.
We performed a secondary analysis of data from Active Mothers Postpartum (AMP), a randomized controlled trial aimed at postpartum weight reduction. We assessed contraceptive use among 361 overweight/obese women 12 months postpartum. Logistic regression was used to model the effect of BMI categories on effective contraceptive use (intrauterine, hormonal, or sterilization methods) while adjusting for potential confounders including age, race, parity, breastfeeding, education, and chronic illness.
Effective contraceptive use was reported by 45% of women. In the multivariable model, women with a BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 were less likely to use effective contraception than women with a BMI <30 kg/m2 (OR 0.5, 95% CI 0.3–0.8). There was a trend towards less use of effective contraception among women with a BMI 30–34.9 kg/m2 as compared to women with a BMI <30 kg/m2.
At 12 months postpartum, obese women were less likely to use effective contraceptive methods than overweight women. Although certain contraceptive methods may be preferred over others in this population, providers should reinforce the importance of effective contraception to avoid unintended pregnancies in obese women.
Unintended pregnancy (mistimed or unwanted) remains an important health issue for women. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of and factors associated with risk of unintended pregnancy in a sample of Victorian women attending family planning clinics.
This cross-sectional survey of three Family Planning Victoria Clinics from April to July 2011 recruited women aged 16-50 years with a male sexual partner in the last 3 months, and not intending to conceive. The questionnaire asked about contraceptive behaviours and important factors that influence contraception use (identified from a systematic literature review). Univariate analysis was calculated for the variables of interest for associations with contraceptive use. An overall multivariate model for being at risk for unintended pregnancy (due to inconsistent or ineffective contraceptive use or non-use) was calculated through backward elimination with statistical significance set at <0.05.
1006 surveys were analyzed with 96% of women reporting contraception use in the last 3 months. 37% of women were at risk for unintended pregnancy due to imperfect use (61% inconsistent users; 31% ineffective methods) or never using contraception (8%). On multivariate analysis, women at risk for unintended pregnancy compared with women not at risk were <25 years old (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2-2.7); had no university/postgraduate degree (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.2-2.4); and had >1 partner in the last 3 months (OR 3.2, 95% CI 2.3-4.6). These women were dissatisfied with current contraception (OR 2.5, 95% 1.8-3.5); felt “vulnerable” to pregnancy (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.6-3.0); were not confident in contraceptive knowledge (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.5-4.8); were unable to stop to use contraception when aroused (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.5-2.9) but were comfortable in speaking to a doctor about contraception (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.1-4.1).
Despite reported high contraceptive usage, nearly 40% of women were at risk for unintended pregnancy primarily due to inconsistent contraceptive use and use of ineffective contraception. Strategies for improving consistency of effective contraception use or greater emphasis on long-acting contraception may be needed for certain subpopulations at higher risk for unintended pregnancy.
Contraception; Family Planning; Women’s health; Unintended pregnancy; Unplanned pregnancy
To assess the effectiveness of emergency single-dose levonorgestrel contraception in preventing unintended pregnancies among woman who visited the emergency department (ED) due to sexual assault (SA).
We conducted a retrospective chart review in a university hospital in South Korea. Cases from November 10, 2006 to November 9, 2009 were enrolled. Information from the initial visit to the ED and subsequent follow-up visits to the gynecology outpatient clinic was collected.
In total, 1,179 women visited the ED due to SA. Among them, 416 patients had a gynecological examination and 302 patients who received emergency contraception (EC) (1.5 mg single-dose levonorgestrel) at the ED due to SA were enrolled. Ten patients did not return for follow-up examinations. In follow-up visits at the outpatient clinic, two pregnancies were confirmed, which showed the failure rate of the EC to be 0.68%.
Single-dose levonorgestrel EC is extremely effective at preventing pregnancy among victims of SA.
Sexual assault; Emergency contraception; Levonorgestrel
Like all women, women living with and at risk of acquiring HIV have the right to determine the number and timing of their pregnancies and to safely achieve their reproductive intentions. Yet, many women in Asia affected by HIV lack access to family planning services and experience disproportionately high rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion. Programs that have succeeded in promoting condom use and providing HIV prevention and treatment services in this region have largely missed the opportunity to address the contraceptive needs of the key populations they serve. The importance of better linkages between family planning and HIV policies and programs is now widely recognized by global health policymakers and donors. However, to date, most of the efforts to improve these linkages have been conducted in Africa. Greater attention is needed to the developing, implementing, and evaluating of integrated family planning/HIV approaches that are tailored to the political, cultural, and public health context in Asia. In this paper, we describe the use of and need for family planning among key populations affected by HIV in Asia, discuss the challenges to effectively addressing of these needs, and offer recommendations for strengthening the linkages between family planning and HIV policies and programs in the region.
For HIV-1 infected women, hormonal contraception prevents unintended pregnancy, excess maternal morbidity, and vertical HIV-1 transmission. Hormonal contraceptives are widely used but their effects on HIV-1 disease progression are unclear.
In a prospective study among 2269 chronically HIV-1 infected women from 7 countries in East and southern Africa and with enrollment CD4 counts ≥250 cells/mm3, we compared rates of HIV-1 disease progression among those using and not using hormonal contraception (i.e. oral or injectable methods). The primary outcome was a composite endpoint of CD4 decline to <200 cells/mm3, initiation of antiretroviral therapy, or death.
372 women experienced HIV-1 disease progression during 3242 years of follow up (incidence rate=11.5 events per 100 person-years). Rates of HIV-1 disease progression among women who were currently using and not using hormonal contraception were 8.54 and 12.31 per 100 person-years, respectively (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.74, 95% CI 0.56–0.98, p=0.04). Rates were 8.58 and 8.39 per 100 person-years for the subsets using injectable and oral contraception (adjusted HR=0.72, p=0.04 for injectable users and adjusted HR=0.83, p=0.5 for oral users compared to women not using hormonal contraception). Sensitivity analyses assessing enrollment or cumulative contraceptive use during the study demonstrated risk estimates closer to 1.0 with no evidence for accelerated disease progression.
Among African women with chronic HIV-1 infection, use of hormonal contraception was not associated with deleterious consequences for HIV-1 disease progression.
HIV-1; women; hormonal contraception; death; CD4 count; antiretroviral therapy