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Type Journal Article - PloS one
Title Unmet need for family planning, contraceptive failure, and unintended pregnancy among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women in Zimbabwe
Author(s)
Volume 9
Issue 8
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
URL http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0105320#pone-0105320-g001
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Abstract

Background

Prevention of unintended pregnancies among women living with HIV infection is a strategy recommended by the World Health Organization for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT). We assessed pregnancy intentions and contraceptive use among HIV-positive and HIV-negative women with a recent pregnancy in Zimbabwe.

Methods

We analyzed baseline data from the evaluation of Zimbabwe’s Accelerated National PMTCT Program. Eligible women were randomly sampled from the catchment areas of 157 health facilities offering PMTCT services in five provinces. Eligible women were =16 years old and mothers of infants (alive or deceased) born 9 to 18 months prior to the interview. Participants were interviewed about their HIV status, intendedness of the birth, and contraceptive use.

Results

Of 8,797 women, the mean age was 26.7 years, 92.8% were married or had a regular sexual partner, and they had an average of 2.7 lifetime births. Overall, 3,090 (35.1%) reported that their births were unintended; of these women, 1,477 (47.8%) and 1,613 (52.2%) were and were not using a contraceptive method prior to learning that they were pregnant, respectively. Twelve percent of women reported that they were HIV-positive at the time of the survey; women who reported that they were HIV-infected were significantly more likely to report that their pregnancy was unintended compared to women who reported that they were HIV-uninfected (44.9% vs. 33.8%, p<0.01). After adjustment for covariates, among women with unintended births, there was no association between self-reported HIV status and lack of contraception use prior to pregnancy.

Conclusions

Unmet need for family planning and contraceptive failure contribute to unintended pregnancies among women in Zimbabwe. Both HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women reported unintended pregnancies despite intending to avoid or delay pregnancy, highlighting the need for effective contraceptive methods that align with pregnancy intentions.

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