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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2007 Apr;21(4):261-7.

Desire for a child among women living with HIV/AIDS in northeast Brazil.

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Department of Community Health, School of Medicine, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil.


In Brazil, an increasing proportion of new HIV infections and AIDS cases involve women of reproductive age. To describe the reproductive desire of women with HIV/AIDS and to identify factors associated with the desire for motherhood, a cross-sectional study was carried out in the referral hospital for infectious diseases in Ceará State, northeast Brazil. In total, 229 women were included in data analysis. Median age was 32 years (interquartile range, 26-37), and 63% had a monthly family income of less than 210 USD. Forty-nine percent were using a contraceptive method, and 37% wished to undergo tubal ligation. Sixty-four percent of the latter women were motivated by the fear of having an HIV-positive child. Forty percent of the participants wanted to have a child. In the multivariate regression analysis, variables independently associated with women's desire to have a child were: younger age (in years, odds ration [OR] = 0.94; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.90-0.98), number of children (OR = 0.73; 95% CI: 0.57-0.96), and partner's desire for a child (OR = 3.35; 95%CI: 1.75-6.39). Having a partner who did not know about the woman's positive serostatus was negatively associated with the woman's desire for a child (OR = 0.17; 95% CI: 0.04-0.69). No variable related to clinical status was significantly associated with the outcome variable. Our data showed that many unsterilized HIV-positive women in northeast Brazil, at whatever stage of illness, have a desire for children. We recommend that nondirective counseling, consisting of helping women evaluate their own feelings, goals and needs with respect to reproductive options be provided.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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