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J Natl Med Assoc. Dec 2005; 97(12): 1672–1681.
PMCID: PMC2640756

Fertility desires and intentions of HIV-positive patients at a suburban specialist center.


OBJECTIVES: To determine the extent of fertility desires and intentions of HIV-positive patients receiving care at a suburban specialist clinic and assess how these may vary by their sociodemographic and health-related factors. METHODS: Questionnaire-based interview of a consecutive sample of HIV-positive men (18-55 years) and HIV-positive women (18-45 years) who presented at the HIV clinic of the Center for Special Studies, Sagamu, Nigeria, between November and December 2004. RESULTS: 63.3% of the 147 studied participants expressed the desire for childbearing, even though 50.4% of them already had > or = 2 children. Respectively, 71.5% and 93.8% of men and women who desired children intended to have > or = 2 in the near future. Only 4.3% of those who desired children did not intend to have any. All 30 individuals who had no children intended to bear children in the future, and they constituted 32.3% of those who expressed the desire for childbearing. Multivariate logistic regression analyses of associated factors indicated that decreasing age, shorter time since diagnosis of HIV infection and nondisclosure of serostatus to current partner significantly increase the odds of desire for childbearing, while having no children and a poor most-recent CD4 count significantly increase the odds of intention to have > or = 3 children instead of 1-2. CONCLUSION: The extent of the fertility desires and intentions of these patients poses a threat to the preventive strategies against vertical and heterosexual transmission of HIV in this region. In view of their compelling desire for parenthood, it may be wise for caregivers to desist from the conventional systematic advice against pregnancy but, in addition to laying emphasis on the risks, provide adequate information on practicable reproductive options for HIV-positive individuals.

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Selected References

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