Introduction Women living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are faced with personal, family and social difficulties, which can lead to non-compliance with measures to prevent vertical HIV transmission. One strategy in coping with the disease is the social support that plays a role in mitigating the negative effects of stressful events related to infection. The objective was to evaluate if the social support perceived by pregnant women is different from that perceived by puerperal women living with HIV.
Method This is a cross-sectional survey carried out in the municipality of Santa Maria - RS, Brazil. We used an instrument composed of a characterisation questionnaire; Social Support Scale for People Living with HIV/AIDS. The data collection was from April to November 2014, with 78 pregnant and postpartum women. Descriptive statistics, Student’s T or Mann-Whitney test and linear logistic regression were used for the analysis of the data. The level of significance was considered with values equal or less than 5%.
Results It was observed that being a pregnant woman is a protection factor when compared to being puerperal, being the chance of protection equal to 8840 times (CI: 1,012–16,767) for general social support, and 6010 times (IC: 1,532–10,489) for support Social instrumental.
Conclusion Health professionals need to know and interact with the social support network of these women, in order to implement actions that help health care during this period of family reorganisation. In addition, it is necessary to expand humanised attention and strengthen public policies.
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