Fertility intentions of women of reproductive age living with HIV in British Columbia, Canada

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Background:We undertook a study to examine the fertility intentions and reproductive health issues of women living with HIV in a broad-based sample in British Columbia, Canada.Methods:Between November 2003 and December 2004, we invited women with HIV at all HIV clinics and AIDS service organizations in the province of British Columbia, Canada, to complete the survey instrument ‘Contraceptive Decisions of HIV-positive Women’. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to calculate adjusted odds ratios to identify factors that may be significant predictors of the intention of women living with HIV to have children.Results:Of the 230 surveys completed, 182 women (79.1%) were of reproductive age (≤ 44 years), and 25.8% of women living with HIV indicated an intention to have children. In multivariate modeling, non-aboriginal ethnicity, younger age and having a regular partner were associated with an increased likelihood of reporting the intention to have children in the future.Discussion:In this study, we found that the predictors of fertility intention of women with HIV were age, ethnicity and marital status. Women who were HIV-positive described an intention to have children at levels approaching those among the general population and regardless of their clinical HIV status. Public policy planners and health practitioners need to consider and plan for the implications of increased numbers of women with HIV who may choose to have children.

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