oa South African Family Practice - Contraceptive knowledge and practice among HIV-positive women receiving antiretroviral therapy at a district hospital in KwaZulu-Natal : original research

Volume 55, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2078-6190
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6204



To determine the knowledge and use of contraceptives by HIV-positive women attending an ART clinic.

Observational descriptive cross-sectional study.
Many human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive South African women fall pregnant each year while receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). In 2010, 2 056 women of childbearing age attended the ART clinic at a district hospital south of Durban. Between October 2010 and June 2011, data were collected using a validated questionnaire from 400 women on their contraceptive knowledge and use. Women over 18 years of age who consented to participate, and who had been receiving ART for more than a month, were eligible for participation in the study.
Contraceptive knowledge and use.
All participants had received counselling on male condom use. The majority of HIV-positive women receiving ART preferred the male condom as their contraception of choice. Knowledge of male condoms was excellent, but only 66% of the study group used condoms, and just over 50% used a dual method of contraception (male condoms plus another contraceptive method). While 97% of participants were knowledgeable about injectable contraception, only 40% used the latter as a form of contraception. Ninety-two per cent of the participants reported recent sexual activity, 14% had fallen pregnant while receiving ART, and 64% planned on having a child in the future.
The low use of dual contraception was a cause for concern. Recommendations include the integration of family planning services into HIV care at all ART sites. This should promote proper fertility management for women receiving ART.

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