Unintended Pregnancies Among HIV Positive Women

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Unintended pregnancies among HIV positive women in low-income settings is a significant public health issue with implications for the health and well-being of women of childbearing age, their partners, and their children. According to the Global HIV/AIDS Response Progress Report (WHO, 2011), Swaziland is a priority country for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Swaziland has the highest HIV prevalence in the world - nearly 26% of adults aged 15-49 in Swaziland are living with HIV. Among adults with HIV in Swaziland, 58% are women (UNAIDS, 2012). Further concerning is the high prevalence of HIV among young women who are reaching the peak of fertility. HIV prevalence among women aged 15-24 was 15.6% in 2009 (Unicef, 2011). Considering that 64% of pregnancies among women aged 15-49 were unintended and that 12% of HIV positive women reported an unmet need for family planning, unintended pregnancies among HIV positive women in Swaziland is a significant cause for concern (Unicef, 2011; WHO, 20l11).
In response to high rates of HIV transmission to infants in the intrapartum and postpartum periods, the United Nations developed a four-pronged approach for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT). The four components of the PMTCT strategy include: 1) primary prevention of HIV among women of childbearing age; 2) prevention of unintended pregnancies among women living with HIV; 3) prevention of transmission of HIV from mothers living with HIV to their infants; 4) treatment, care and support for mothers living with HIV and their children and families (PEPFAR, 2010). Prevention of unintended pregnancies among HIV positive women continues to pose a challenge to the reduction of maternal-child tra...

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Wanyenze, R. K., Wagner, G. J., Tumwesigye, N. M., Nannyonga, M., Wabwire-Mangen, F., & Kamya, M. R. (2013). Fertility and contraceptive decision-making and support for HIV infected individuals: client and provider experiences and perceptions at two HIV clinics in Uganda. BMC Public Health, 13, 98. doi: 1471-2458-13-98 [pii]
Warren, C.E., Abuya, T., & Askew, I. (2013). Family planning practices and pregnancy intentions among HIV-positive and HIV-negative postpartum women in Swaziland: a cross sectional survey. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 13(150), 1-10. doi: 10.1186/1471-2393-13-150
World Health Organization. (2011). Global HIV/AIDS response: epidemic update and health sector progress towards universal access. Retrieved from http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2011/9789241502986_eng.pdf

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