Repeated pregnancy in HIV positive Indian women with known HIV status

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HIV-positive women of reproductive age face challenges in decision making related to pregnancy. Understanding factors influencing repeat pregnancies in women with known HIV status are necessary to guide interventions and counseling strategies to better inform and support them. We compared three groups of women attending a large antenatal clinic in Pune, India. They include: Group A--63 HIV-positive women coming for care for a repeat pregnancy after being diagnosed in a previous pregnancy; Group B--64 HIV-negative (repeat) pregnant women attending this antenatal clinic; and Group C--63 HIV-positive non-pregnant women currently enrolled in an ongoing clinical trial. Comparisons of Group A and B indicate that the likelihood of unplanned repeat pregnancies was significantly higher in HIV-positive (70%) than HIV-negative (36%) women (OR=4.1, CI: 2.0-8.7). Inability to terminate the pregnancy (31%) and familial obligations (40%) appear to be important for continuing the unplanned repeat pregnancy. Despite high reported contraceptive use by HIV-positive women, pregnancies still occurred. Death of their youngest child is an important factor as 21% of HIV-positive pregnant women lost their youngest child compared with 3% of HIV-negative women and 3% of HIV-positive non-pregnant women (p<0.001). Repeat pregnancies were more likely to occur for women who did not disclose their HIV status to their spouse. Thus the majority of the repeat pregnancies for HIV-positive women were both unplanned and unwanted.

Suryavanshi N, Erande A, Pisal H, Shankar AV, Bhosale RA, Bollinger RC, Phadke MA, Sastry J. Repeated pregnancy in HIV positive Indian women with known HIV status. AIDS Care. 2008 Sept 29; 20(9):1111-1118. doi: 10.1080/09540120701842753.
  • Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nasik, India
  • BJGMC, Pune, India