Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 18567897
Hum. Reprod. 2008 Sep;23(9):2140-4
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to describe the experience of pregnant and non-pregnant HIV-infected women regarding fertility and childbearing, with a view to inform policies and practices to improve reproductive outcome.
METHODS: A cross-sectional survey collected information on socio-demographic and basic reproductive characteristics of HIV-infected women in Europe. A total of 403 women participated; 121 were pregnant.
RESULTS: The median age was 29 years and 84% (228) of women were born in Europe. Overall 68% (275 of 403) had been pregnant at some time. At the time of the survey, 59% (n = 160) of women had no HIV symptoms; severe symptoms were more frequent among non-pregnant than pregnant respondents (36% (65 of 181) versus 5% (4 of 88)). Of the women, 80% reported being in a long-standing relationship; 39% (74 of 190) reported that they became infected by their current partner and, overall, heterosexual infection was reported as the mode of acquisition in 55% (190 of 344). Maternal well-being, no previous live birth and having an uninfected partner were strongly associated with the likelihood of being pregnant. To assess the problems relating to fertility, pregnant and non-pregnant women were considered separately. Overall, 46% of pregnant women reported not using condoms to protect against infection during pregnancy. Of the 60 pregnant women who planned their pregnancies, 10 reported the need for assistance in conceiving: five monitored their ovulation period and five became pregnant through in vitro fertilization. Of 34 non-pregnant women currently trying for a baby, 15 (44%) had done so for more than 18 months. Overall 25 (27%) of 94 women who planned to become pregnant needed reproductive care.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that these days knowledge of HIV infection neither influences the desire for children nor the decisions regarding pregnancy in HIV-infected women living in Europe.