Reproductive decision-making among postpartum HIV-infected women in rural South Africa

Deborah L. Jones, Violeta J. Rodriguez, Suat Babayigit, Antonio Chahine, Stephen M. Weiss, Karl Peltzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Despite pregnancy spacing recommendations to optimize health outcomes among mothers and neonates, unplanned pregnancy in sub-Saharan Africa is common among women living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (WLHIV). This study examined factors associated with reproductive decision-making among WLHIV to inform pregnancy-planning interventions. WLHIV in rural South Africa (n = 165) were assessed at 12 months postpartum. The relative importance of factors associated with reproductive decision-making was estimated. Women were a mean of 28 years old (SD = 5.71). Risk of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV (Mean = 0.43; SD = 0.33) had the greatest impact on decision-making, followed by partners’ desires (M = 0.22; SD = 0.18), family preferences (M = 0.18; SD = 0.13), and community opinion (M = 0.17; SD = 0.13). MTCT was most important to women with greater HIV knowledge. However, WLHIV who had been diagnosed with HIV for a longer time placed more emphasis on partner preference and community opinion, and less importance on MTCT risk. Prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) was less important to women experiencing intimate partner violence and those with depression. Findings highlight the need for tailored, focused interventions to support the unique circumstances of WLHIV and support the inclusion of families and/or partners in the counseling process. Results underscore the need for perinatal preconception counseling for women during routine HIV care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)908-916
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • HIV
  • South Africa
  • decision-making
  • prevent mother-to-child transmission
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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