Background Contraceptive use among HIV-positive women prevents unwanted pregnancy and reduces STI and HIV transmission. Recent studies link the use of hormonal contraceptive methods to increased risk of HIV transmission, consequently WHO guidelines recommend dual protection for HIV-positive women. Little is known about the uptake of dual contraceptive methods among women living with HIV. This study sought to measure differences in contraceptive prevalence and preference among HIV-positive women of different ages.
Methods The Longitudinal Investigation into Supportive and Ancillary health services (LISA) cohort is a prospective study of harder-to-reach HIV-positive individuals accessing ART in BC. Interviewer-administered surveys collected information on socio-demographic, behavioural and structural factors while clinical variables were linked through the Drug Treatment Program at BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. This analysis included non-pregnant women aged 18–49 years. The outcome variable of interest was self-reported current contraceptive use.
Results Of the 166 women in this analysis, the median age was 38 years (IQR 33–43. In the six months before interview, 57% demonstrated viral suppression (VL < 50 copies) and median CD4 count was 280 (IQR 170–490). Contraceptive use was reported by 109 women (66%). Of the 104 women reporting vaginal sexual intercourse ≤ 6 months before interview, contraceptive methods included: barrier methods (condoms) (30%); dual methods (barrier method plus hormonal/permanent method) (27%); no method (24%), permanent methods (tubal ligation/hysterectomy) (10%); and hormonal methods (nuvaring/intrauterine device/oral/injectable) (9%). A significant difference was observed in contraceptive preference between sexually active women aged ≤ 35 years (n = 42) and > 35 years (n = 62), with older women choosing permanent or dual methods and younger women selecting hormonal, barrier or no contraceptive method (p = < 0.001).
Conclusion Younger women demonstrate poor uptake of dual contraceptives, electing to use individual hormonal or barrier methods, or engage in unprotected intercourse. This demographic are at most risk of HIV transmission, potentially exacerbated by hormonal contraceptives.
- antiretroviral therapy
- dual contraception
- HIV KL01,
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