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1.  Increasing Support for Contraception as HIV Prevention: Stakeholder Mapping to Identify Influential Individuals and Their Perceptions 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(5):e10781.
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.
Methodology/Principal Findings
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.
PMCID: PMC2875395  PMID: 20520728
2.  Determinants of Multimethod Contraceptive Use in a Sample of Adolescent Women Diagnosed with Psychological Disorders 
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.
PMCID: PMC3182562  PMID: 21969802
3.  Contraceptive Use and Method Preference among Women in Soweto, South Africa: The Influence of Expanding Access to HIV Care and Treatment Services 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(11):e13868.
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.
PMCID: PMC2974641  PMID: 21079770
4.  Attitude toward contraception and abortion among Curaçao women. Ineffective contraception due to limited sexual education? 
BMC Family Practice  2011;12:55.
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.
PMCID: PMC3146412  PMID: 21699701
5.  Contraceptive Utilization and Associated Factors among HIV Positive Women on Chronic Follow Up Care in Tigray Region, Northern Ethiopia: A Cross Sectional Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94682.
In sub-Sahara Africa, more than 60% of all new HIV infections are occurring in women, infants and young children. Maternal to child transmission is responsible for 90% of childhood HIV infection. Preventing unwanted pregnancy among HIV positive women is imperative to reduce maternal and infant morbidity and mortality.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 964 HIV positive women in selected 12 health centers of Tigray region. In this paper, analysis was restricted only for 847 women who were sexually active and non-pregnant. In each health center the number of study participants was allocated proportionally to the load of HIV positive women in chronic care clinics. The data were entered into EpiData version 3.1, and cleaned and analyzed using Stata version 11.1. Descriptive summary of data and logistic regression were used to identify possible predictors using odds ratio with 95% confidence interval and P-value of 0.05.
Three hundred ninety four (46.5%) of all HIV positive women had intension to have more children. Three hundred seventy five (44.3%) were using contraceptive methods at time of survey. Injectable (70.7%) and male condom (47.6%) were most commonly used type of contraceptives. In the multivariable analysis, women who were urban dwellers (AOR = 2.55; 95% CI: 1.27, 5.02), completed primary education (AOR = 2.27; 95% CI: 1.12, 2.86) and those openly discussed about contraceptive methods with their husbands or sexual partners (AOR = 6.3; 95% CI: 3.42, 11.76) were more likely to use contraceptive. Women who have one or more living children were also more likely to use contraceptive compared with women with no child.
Less than half of women used contraceptive methods. The use of condoms could impact unintended pregnancies and reduced risks of vertical and sexual transmission. Efforts to increase contraceptive utilization focusing on the barrier methods should be strengthen in HIV/AIDS chronic care units.
PMCID: PMC3990566  PMID: 24743241
6.  Non-use of contraception: determinants among Ugandan university students 
Global Health Action  2012;5:10.3402/gha.v5i0.18599.
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.
PMCID: PMC3467363  PMID: 23058273
contraception; Uganda; sexual debut; gender; pregnancy; sexual behaviour
7.  Modern contraceptive utilization among female ART attendees in health facilities of Gimbie town, West Ethiopia 
Reproductive Health  2014;11:30.
In many areas of the world where HIV prevalence is high, rates of unintended pregnancy have also been shown to be high. Of all pregnancies worldwide in 2008, 41% were reported as unintended and approximately 50% of these ended in abortion. To address these problems family planning is the best solution. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to assess modern contraceptive use among females on ART in health facilities of Gimbie town, Western Ethiopia.
A facility based cross-sectional study was conducted in Gimbie town, western Ethiopia from December 2012 to January 2013. HIV infected women of reproductive age group (15-49 years) who came for ART care follow up during the data collection period were included in the study. Data was collected using an interviewer administered questionnaire. Binary logistic regression and multivariate analysis were employed using SPSS version 17.
Three hundred ninety five women on ART have participated in the study. More than half, 224 (56.7%), of the respondents were using modern contraceptive, of whom 67 (30%) use dual contraceptive method. Having information on modern contraception is positively associated with modern contraceptive use with (AOR=6.3, 95% CI (1.67, 24.1)) and respondents who have family size ≤4 were 50% less contraceptive users than those who have family size >4 (AOR=0.51, 95% CI (0.27, 0.96)).
In this study contraceptive use among HIV positive women is better than the general population. However, use of dual methods, long acting and permanent method of contraceptives were found to be low. Continuous and targeted information provision on modern contraceptive should be done.
PMCID: PMC3989849  PMID: 24731751
ART attendees; Contraceptive utilization; Family planning
8.  Barriers to the Use of Modern Contraceptives and Implications for Woman-Controlled Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections in Madagascar 
Journal of Biosocial Science  2008;40(6):879-893.
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.
PMCID: PMC3390975  PMID: 18198005
9.  Trends in Contraceptive Use Among Women With Human Immunodeficiency Virus 
Obstetrics and gynecology  2012;120(4):783-790.
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.
PMCID: PMC3449062  PMID: 22996095
10.  Hormonal contraceptive use and HIV disease progression among women in Uganda and Zimbabwe 
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.
PMCID: PMC3164299  PMID: 21358412
HIV; disease progression; hormonal contraception; family planning; women
11.  Contraception for the HIV-Positive Woman: A Review of Interactions between Hormonal Contraception and Antiretroviral Therapy 
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.
PMCID: PMC3426212  PMID: 22927715
12.  Contraceptive Counseling and Use among Women with Poorer Health 
To explore associations between health status, contraceptive counseling and contraceptive use.
Women aged 18–50 visiting one of 4 primary care clinics were invited to complete surveys after their visit. Perceived health status was measured using a 5-point scale. Among those considered at risk of unintended pregnancy, logistic regression was used to investigate associations between health status and contraceptive counseling and use.
Women reporting poorer health had decreased odds of receiving some contraceptive counseling at their visit (aOR=0.62, CI=0.39, 0.97) and using some contraception at last intercourse (aOR=0.63, CI=0.41, 0.97) compared to women reporting better health. However, among women with poorer health, receipt of counseling about hormonal contraception was associated with increased odds of using hormonal methods (aOR=8.22, CI=1.77, 38.19). Only 7% of women in poorer health received counseling on highly effective reversible contraception.
Women in poorer health may be at risk of adverse reproductive health outcomes and should receive counseling on safe hormonal and highly effective reversible contraceptives.
PMCID: PMC4068348  PMID: 24971372
Contraceptive counseling; Women’s health; Primary care
13.  Utilization of Modern Contraceptives among HIV Positive Reproductive Age Women in Tigray, Ethiopia: A Cross Sectional Study 
ISRN AIDS  2013;2013:319724.
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.
PMCID: PMC3800562  PMID: 24224116
14.  Contraceptive use by obese women one year postpartum 
Contraception  2009;80(5):463-468.
Obese women have higher rates of pregnancy complications, making the prevention of unintended pregnancies in this group of particular importance.
Study Design
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.
PMCID: PMC2764535  PMID: 19835721
15.  Contraceptive method and pregnancy incidence among African women in HIV-1 serodiscordant partnerships 
AIDS (London, England)  2012;26(4):513-518.
Effective contraception reduces unintended pregnancies and is a central strategy to reduce vertical HIV-1 transmission for HIV-1 infected women.
Among 2269 HIV-1 seropositive and 1085 seronegative women from 7 African countries who were members of HIV-1 serodiscordant heterosexual partnerships and who were participating in an HIV-1 prevention clinical trial, we assessed pregnancy incidence for women using various contraceptive methods using multivariate Andersen-Gill analysis.
Compared with women using no contraceptive method, pregnancy incidence was significantly reduced among HIV-1 seropositive and seronegative women using injectable contraception (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 0.24, p=0.001 and aHR 0.25, p<0.001, respectively). Oral contraceptives significantly reduced pregnancy risk only among HIV-1 seropositive women (aHR 0.51, p=0.004) but not seronegative women (aHR 0.64, p=0.3), and, for both seropositive and seronegative women, oral contraceptive pill users were more likely to become pregnant than injectable contraceptive users (aHR 2.22, p=0.01 for HIV-1 seropositive women and aHR 2.65, p=0.09 for HIV-1 seronegative women). Condoms, when reported as being used as the primary contraceptive method, marginally reduced pregnancy incidence (aHR 0.85, p=0.1 for seropositive women and aHR 0.67, p=0.02 for seronegative women). There were no pregnancies among women using intrauterine devices, implantable methods or who had undergone surgical sterilization, although these methods were used relatively infrequently.
Family planning programs and HIV-1 prevention trials need innovative ways to motivate uptake and sustained use of longer acting, less user-dependent contraception for women who do not desire pregnancy.
PMCID: PMC3932300  PMID: 22156966
HIV-1; serodiscordant couples; contraception; Africa; women
16.  Expanding contraceptive options for PMTCT clients: a mixed methods implementation study in Cape Town, South Africa 
Reproductive Health  2014;11:3.
Clients of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services in South Africa who use contraception following childbirth rely primarily on short-acting methods like condoms, pills, and injectables, even when they desire no future pregnancies. Evidence is needed on strategies for expanding contraceptive options for postpartum PMTCT clients to include long-acting and permanent methods.
We examined the process of expanding contraceptive options in five health centers in Cape Town providing services to HIV-positive women. Maternal/child health service providers received training and coaching to strengthen contraceptive counseling for postpartum women, including PMTCT clients. Training and supplies were introduced to strengthen intrauterine device (IUD) services, and referral mechanisms for female sterilization were reinforced. We conducted interviews with separate samples of postpartum PMTCT clients (265 pre-intervention and 266 post-intervention) to assess knowledge and behaviors regarding postpartum contraception. The process of implementing the intervention was evaluated through systematic documentation and interpretation using an intervention tracking tool. In-depth interviews with providers who participated in study-sponsored training were conducted to assess their attitudes toward and experiences with promoting voluntary contraceptive services to HIV-positive clients.
Following the intervention, 6% of interviewed PMTCT clients had the desired knowledge about the IUD and 23% had the desired knowledge about female sterilization. At both pre- and post-intervention, 7% of clients were sterilized and IUD use was negligible; by comparison, 75% of clients used injectables. Intervention tracking and in-depth interviews with providers revealed intervention shortcomings and health system constraints explaining the failure to produce intended effects.
The intervention failed to improve PMTCT clients’ knowledge about the IUD and sterilization or to increase use of those methods. To address the family planning needs of postpartum PMTCT clients in a way that is consistent with their fertility desires, services must expand the range of contraceptive options to include long-acting and permanent methods. In turn, to ensure consistent access to high quality family planning services that are effectively linked to HIV services, attention must also be focused on resolving underlying health system constraints weakening health service delivery more generally.
PMCID: PMC3895666  PMID: 24410922
PMTCT; Family planning; Intrauterine device; Female sterilization; Implementation; South Africa
17.  To use or not to use a condom: A prospective cohort study comparing contraceptive practices among HIV-infected and HIV-negative youth in Uganda 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:144.
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.
PMCID: PMC3128049  PMID: 21605418
18.  Constraints and prospects for contraceptive service provision to young people in Uganda: providers' perspectives 
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.
PMCID: PMC3181204  PMID: 21923927
19.  Family planning counseling for women living with HIV: a systematic review of the evidence of effectiveness on contraceptive uptake and pregnancy incidence, 1990 to 2011 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:935.
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.
PMCID: PMC3852503  PMID: 24099177
HIV; Family planning; Counseling; Systematic review
20.  Modern Contraceptive and Dual Method Use among HIV-Infected Women in Lusaka, Zambia 
HIV-infected women in sub-Saharan Africa are at substantial risk of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Linkages between HIV and reproductive health services are advocated. We describe implementation of a reproductive health counseling intervention in 16 HIV clinics in Lusaka, Zambia. Between November 2009 and November 2010, 18,407 women on antiretroviral treatment (ART) were counseled. The median age was 34.6 years (interquartile range (IQR): 29.9–39.7), and 60.1% of women were married. The median CD4+ cell count was 394 cells/uL (IQR: 256–558). Of the women counseled, 10,904 (59.2%) reported current modern contraceptive use. Among contraceptive users, only 17.7% reported dual method use. After counseling, 737 of 7,503 women not previously using modern contraception desired family planning referrals, and 61.6% of these women successfully accessed services within 90 days. Unmet contraceptive need remains high among HIV-infected women. Additional efforts are needed to promote reproductive health, particularly dual method use.
PMCID: PMC3189559  PMID: 22007138
21.  Two good reasons: women’s and men’s perspectives on dual contraceptive use 
Social science & medicine (1982)  1999;49(5):567-580.
In the US, continued high rates of unintended pregnancy, combined with increases in heterosexual transmission of HIV to women, have sharply magnified concern about the factors leading to or barring the use of contraceptive methods to protect concurrently against both risks. This paper reports on results of focus group research among African–American women participating in a longitudinal study and African–American men who are either partners of the women or are of similar socio-economic status as their partners.
We found a high level of agreement between men and women on the issues and problems that both sexes face. People felt that regardless of a woman’s use of other contraceptive methods, a condom should always be used for protection. This belief, however, differed markedly from actual practice. Although we attempted to discern the relative salience of concern about pregnancy versus STIs, we conclude that people may not separate these two concerns in their resolve to use two methods. Furthermore, they recognized the need for dual protection, but expected conflict with their partners from using condoms as a second method because of high levels of distrust regarding sexual fidelity. Thus people are caught in a bind: distrust further increases the sense of a need for dual methods, but using condoms exacerbates the problems people have with achieving trust in relationships.
PMCID: PMC3150867  PMID: 10452414
Dual contraceptive use; Condom use; Sexual relationships; STI/HIV prevention; Unintended pregnancy
22.  Fertility goal-based counseling increases contraceptive implant and IUD use in HIV discordant couples in Rwanda and Zambia 
Contraception  2012;88(1):74-82.
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.
Study Design
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.
PMCID: PMC3625675  PMID: 23153896
contraception; family planning; HIV; intrauterine devices; implant
23.  Prevalence of and Barriers to Dual-Contraceptive Methods Use among Married Men and Women Living with HIV in India 
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.
PMCID: PMC3195532  PMID: 22013377
24.  Fertility and contraceptive decision-making and support for HIV infected individuals: client and provider experiences and perceptions at two HIV clinics in Uganda 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:98.
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.
PMCID: PMC3568663  PMID: 23374175
Family planning; Fertility; HIV; Contraception
25.  Differences in the Nonuse of any Contraception and Use of Specific Contraceptive Methods in HIV Positive and HIV Negative Rwandan Women 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2012;2012:367604.
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.
PMCID: PMC3533450  PMID: 23304468

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