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Am J Public Health. 1993 May;83(5):705-10.

Pregnancy and contraception use among urban Rwandan women after HIV testing and counseling.

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Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.



This study examined hormonal contraceptive use and pregnancy in urban Rwandan women, following human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody testing and counseling.


A sample of 1458 childbearing urban Rwandan women aged 18 to 35 years was tested and followed for 2 years.


At enrollment, 17% of 998 HIV-negative women and 11% of 460 HIV-positive women were pregnant, and 17% vs 23%, respectively, were using hormonal contraceptives. One year later, half of the HIV-positive and one third of the HIV-negative hormonal-contraceptive users had discontinued use. The 2-year incidence of pregnancy was 43% in HIV-positive and 58% in HIV-negative women. HIV-positive women with fewer than four children were more likely to become pregnant than those with four or more; this association persisted in multivariate analyses but was not noted among HIV-negative women. At the end of the study, over 40% of non-users said that they would use hormonal contraception if it was provided at the study clinic, but 40% of HIV-positive women desired more children.


Research is needed to identify the practical and psychosocial obstacles to effective long-term contraception among HIV-positive women. HIV counseling programs must specifically address the issue of childbearing.

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