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Safer Conception and Family Planning Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Among Postpartum Women with HIV in Rural South Africa

Authors Mandell LN, Rodriguez VJ, Jones DL

Received 24 October 2020

Accepted for publication 23 December 2020

Published 10 February 2021 Volume 2021:12 Pages 17—25


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igal Wolman

Lissa N Mandell,1 Violeta J Rodriguez,1,2 Deborah L Jones1

1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA; 2Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA

Correspondence: Deborah L Jones Email

Introduction: With the help of safer conception strategies (SCS), women with HIV (WHIV) can achieve their reproductive goals while minimizing the risk of transmission to their partners or infants. However, interpregnancy intervals of at least 24 months are recommended to optimize maternal and infant health outcomes, so postpartum WHIV need to use contraception to delay subsequent pregnancies. Understanding safer conception and family planning knowledge, attitudes, and practices among WHIV is key to tailoring family planning policy and intervention development in regions with high HIV prevalence.
Methods: This study described the safer conception and family planning knowledge, attitudes, and practices of postpartum WHIV (N = 956) in rural Mpumalanga province, South Africa, 12 months after delivery.
Results: Almost all women understood the importance of condom use, but most overestimated the risk of sexual transmission. A majority of women reported that their partner’s desires (53%) and the risk of perinatal transmission (58%) were very important factors when making childbearing decisions. Most women (81%) used condoms for HIV prevention and most (83%) used contraception for pregnancy prevention. Many women (33% of contraceptive users) used condoms for both HIV prevention and contraception without using another contraceptive method as well. Only 43% of contraceptive users endorsed dual method use of condoms with hormones, intrauterine devices, or sterilization.
Discussion: Results highlight the prominence of condom-based pregnancy and HIV transmission prevention, the influence of male partners in fertility decision-making, and the opportunity for further education and promotion of long acting methods in this setting.

Keywords: HIV, family planning, contraception, condoms, pregnancy, safer conception

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