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Women Health. 2012;52(5):485-502. doi: 10.1080/03630242.2012.684372.

Prevention of mother-to-child transmission--precarious hopes and childbearing choices among HIV-infected women in a northern province of Vietnam.

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Department of Population, Institute for Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Hanoi Medical University, No. 1 Ton That Tung Street, Khuong Thuong, Dong Da District, Hanoi, Vietnam.


The world over, increased access to treatment brings reproductive hope to women infected with HIV. Yet, despite the expanding availability of programs for prevention of mother-to-child transmission, HIV-positive women continue to face numerous problems and uncertainties in the realm of reproduction. The results reported here are derived from ethnographic research conducted in a northern province of Vietnam in 2007. The authors interviewed 32 HIV-positive women, exploring the hopes that they invested in prevention of mother-to-child transmission, and examining how this new technology enhanced the women's faith in their futures and childbearing capacities. Based on the findings, the authors discuss the new forms of gendered uncertainty that arise in the era of HIV/AIDS in Vietnam. They conclude that prevention of mother-to-child transmission, including the counseling offered by health providers, plays an important role in building and strengthening reproductive hopes for women living with HIV, while also generating new concerns.

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