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Hum Reprod. 2010 Sep;25(9):2366-73. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deq093. Epub 2010 Jul 19.

Previous reproductive history and post-natal family planning among HIV-infected women in Ukraine.

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  • 1Institute of Child Health, University College, London, UK.



Ukraine has the highest antenatal HIV prevalence in Europe. The national prevention of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) programme has reduced the MTCT rate, but less attention has been given to the prevention of unintended pregnancy among HIV-positive women. Our objectives were to describe the reproductive health, condom use and family planning (FP) practices of HIV-positive childbearing Ukrainian women and to identify factors associated with different methods of post-natal contraception.


HIV-infected childbearing women, diagnosed before or during pregnancy, were enrolled prospectively in a post-natal cohort study in four regional HIV/AIDS centres in Ukraine from December 2007. Logistic regression models were used to identify factors associated with post-natal FP practices.


Data were available for 371 women enrolled by March 2009; 82% (n = 303) were married or cohabiting, 27% (97 of 363) reported a current HIV-negative sexual partner and 69% were diagnosed with HIV during their most recent pregnancy. Overall, 21% (75 of 349) of women were not using contraception post-natally (of whom 80% reported no current sexual activity), 50% (174 of 349) used condoms, 20% (74 of 349) relied solely/partially on coitus interruptus and 4% used hormonal methods or intrauterine device. Among married/cohabiting women, consistent use of condoms in the previous pregnancy [AOR 1.96 (95%CI 1.06-3.62)], having an HIV-positive partner [AOR 0.42 (0.20-0.87)], current sexual activity [AOR 4.53 (1.19-17.3)] and study site were significantly associated with post-natal condom use; 16% of those with HIV-negative partners did not use condoms. Risk factors for non-use of FP were lack of affordability [AOR 6.34 (1.73-23.2)] and inconsistent use of condoms in the previous pregnancy [AOR 7.25 (1.41-37.2)].


More than 40% of HIV-positive women in this population are at risk of unintended pregnancy and the one in six women in HIV-discordant couples not using barrier methods risk transmitting HIV to their partners. Our study results are limited by the observational nature of the data and the potential for both measured and unmeasured confounding.

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