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Behavioral interventions for improving contraceptive use among women living with HIV


Lopez, L.M., et al

Subject Keywords: Behavioral intervention, HIV-positive women, Contraceptive choice, Contraceptive use
Type: Article
Region: International (other)

Counseling can help HIV-positive women meet their goals for family planning. It can also help prevent giving the virus to their infants. Due to better treatment, people with HIV are living longer. More HIV-positive women may want to have a child in the future. We examined behavioral programs to help women with HIV improve their use of family planning methods.

Through October 2012, we did computer searches for studies of family planning programs for HIV-positive women. We wrote to researchers to find other reports. The program could be compared with a different program, routine care, or no counseling. Studies could also compare HIV-positive women versus HIV-negative women. If available, we used adjusted results to help control for factors affecting the outcomes. Otherwise, we used the odds ratio. We assessed the research quality.

We found seven studies from Africa with a total of 8882 women. Three studies compared a special program versus standard services. One showed the special program site had more use of non-condom birth control and fewer pregnancies. In another, women at sites with enhanced services used modern family planning more than women at sites with basic services. The groups had similar change from baseline. In the third study, more women who had family planning services combined with HIV care used modern birth control (non-condom). More women with combined services used condoms than those with routine care.

Four older studies compared HIV-positive women versus HIV-negative women. The study groups did not differ much in use of modern birth control. Two studies did not provide family planning counseling for HIV-negative women. In the larger study, HIV-positive women were less likely to get pregnant. More HIV-positive women stopped using their hormonal birth control, but more used condoms and spermicide. Two studies provided counseling for both HIV groups. One showed fewer pregnancies for HIV-positive women. In the other, the HIV groups were similar for pregnancy and condom use.

Overall, these were moderate quality studies. Many did not adjust for factors affecting the outcomes, and many used self-reported data. The studies had different designs and reporting methods. Four studies were done many years ago. Improved HIV treatment has changed how HIV-positive women think about having children. However, we found little research on birth control counseling for these women. The field needs tested programs to help women choose and use a birth control method.



Rights: © The Cochrane Collaboration
Suggested citation:

Lopez, L.M., et al. (2013) Behavioral interventions for improving contraceptive use among women living with HIV [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 25th August 2019].


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