Increasing number of HIV positive women plan to give birth

thoughtful woman

A recent Canadian study revealed that more HIV positive women than ever are looking forward to giving birth. Results of the study show the need for increased services for these women, in terms of both support services and medical intervention.

Ontario, Canada was chosen as the research site because of its open immigration policy and diverse population. Because of this, the study results may reflect the attitudes of a broader, global community.

Of the 490 HIV positive women who participated in the study, 69% said they desired to become pregnant while 58% percent intended to become pregnant. This is significantly different than previous studies which showed fertility intentions of 26% and 29% respectively.

It is believed that the success of the antiretroviral therapy (ART) has contributed to the increase in the desire to give birth. ART has increased life expectancy and life quality for HIV positive persons. It has also decreased the mother-to-child transfer rate for the disease. It seems clear that HIV positive women see an opportunity for healthy children despite their disease. With 80% of the women in the study of reproductive age, the breakthrough in the ART treatment has a profound impact on this demographic.

Looking ahead, health care providers will need to expand services and provide these women with specific prenatal guidelines and advice. It is hoped that this study will be the catalyst for creating a fertility and pregnancy planning program specifically for HIV positive women and families.

Source: The AIDS Beacon


 
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