Predictors of contraceptive choice and use in HIV-positive women: A pilot study
Awarded 2009
Small Research Grants
Shannon Criniti, PhD, MPH
Drexel University

Women now account for 26% of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the US, with 80% of those infections caused by heterosexual transmission. As women with HIV live longer lives and have access to lifesaving antiretroviral therapy, their fertility desires have been found to be similar to those of women without HIV. Women who may have thought that their HIV infection would prevent them from becoming mothers are now able to plan and carry healthy pregnancies without transmission of the virus to their offspring. In choosing contraception, HIV-positive women need to consider both their short-term and long-term pregnancy intentions as well as their need to prevent heterosexual HIV transmission risks, including spreading their virus to partners or getting re-infected with a potentially more virulent or resistant strain of virus themselves. This study aims to collect pilot data to the predictors of contraceptive use for nulliparous and postpartum HIV-infected women and how they relate to pregnancy intentions and HIV disclosure. A total of 50 HIV-positive women of reproductive age in a matched cohort design will be recruited for survey administration at two medical settings: a Title X-funded family planning clinic located in an adult HIV clinic, and an HIV family care clinic located at a local pediatric hospital. The survey will include questions on self-reported contraceptive use, pregnancy intentions, HIV status of sexual partner(s), disclosure of HIV status to sexual partner(s), sexual risk behaviors, current use of ART, pregnancy history, feelings related to risk of HIV transmission, self-efficacy, and perception of partner’s feelings towards condom use and other methods on contraception. Results will be disseminated to partner organizations and clinic consumers, and will inform follow-up studies to develop effective HIV-specific counseling modules on contraceptive choice for nulliparous and postpartum women.