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AIDS Care. 2014;26(6):777-84. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2013.855295. Epub 2013 Nov 9.

The importance of motherhood in HIV-positive women of reproductive age in Ontario, Canada.

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a Women's College Research Institute, Women's College Hospital , Toronto , Ontario , Canada.


Motherhood is personally, culturally, and historically rooted. Recent publications have focused on medical issues related to pregnancy and HIV, with attention on fetal well-being. There is limited literature on the importance of motherhood for HIV-positive women. Our study's purpose was to investigate the importance of motherhood among HIV-positive women of reproductive age in Ontario, Canada and to analyze the correlates thereof. We present our findings using a secondary analysis of cross-sectionally collected data from a study assessing fertility desires and intentions of HIV-positive women. The sub-analysis's outcome of interest was based on the question: "Being a mother is important to me" with a 5-point Likert scale that was dichotomized into strongly agree/agree vs. neutral/disagree/strongly disagree. Logistic regression models were fit to calculate unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for significant correlates. Of the 497 respondents, median age was 38 (interquartile range [IQR] 32-43), 46% were African, 74% had given birth, and 57% intended to give birth. A total of 452 (91%) agreed (N = 75) or strongly agreed (N = 377) that being a mother was important to them. Age less than 40 years (OR 3.0; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6-5.7, African ethnicity (OR 9.2; 95% CI 3.2-26.3), immigration within 10 years (OR 19.6, 95% CI 4.6-83.1), and partner or family desire for a pregnancy (OR 3.3; 95% CI 1.5-7.3) were significant correlates of the importance of motherhood in a univariate analysis. Importance of motherhood was associated with desire (OR 6.2, 95% CI 3.1-12.3) and intention to give birth (OR 6.9, 95% CI 3.1-15.2), and previous birth (OR 8.5, 95% CI 4.2-16.8). In the multivariable model, the significant correlates were of age less than 40 years (OR 3.9; 95% CI 1.8-8.4), immigration within 10 years (OR 14.1; 95% CI 3.2-61.5), and having previously given birth (OR 11.2; 95% CI 5.1-24.4). The majority of women felt strongly that motherhood was important to them particularly among younger women, recent immigrants, and women who were mothers.

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