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AIDS Care. 2008 Oct;20(9):1057-65. doi: 10.1080/09540120701808812.

Sexual behavior, fertility desires and unmet need for family planning among home-based care clients and caregivers in Kenya.

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  • 1Family Health International, Health Services Research, Durham, USA.


As antiretroviral treatment becomes more available, community home-based care (CHBC) clients may begin to resume normal daily activities including the resumption of sexual relationships. This study examines sexual behavior, contraceptive use, unmet need for family planning and attitudes toward pregnancy in the context of HIV among CHBC participants (clients and caregivers), many of whom are HIV-positive or at risk for HIV, of the COPHIA project in Kenya. The COPHIA project was implemented by Pathfinder International with support from USAID/Kenya. We interviewed 171 CHBC clients and 183 CHBC caregivers and conducted four focus groups with caregivers. Data were collected from randomly selected COPHIA-affiliated CHBC programs in Western Province and in Nairobi between September and November 2004. Forty-four percent of clients and 55% of caregivers had been sexually active in the past six months. The reproductive health needs of this population are complex; a significant percentage of study participants have an unmet need for family planning and some desire more children. A small proportion of study participants were pregnant during the time of the interview. The majority of those who use contraception reported relying solely on the male condom to prevent pregnancy. While vital for HIV prevention and easily distributed by CHBC programs, the male condom is not as effective as other methods in preventing pregnancy. Community home-based care program participants need counseling related to contraception, fertility desires and pregnancy. The promotion of dual method use is crucial to this population. Besides referring participants to family planning services, CHBC programs need to consider how and if they can meet the family planning and other reproductive health needs of their participants.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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