Impact of single session post-partum counselling of HIV infected women on their subsequent reproductive behaviour

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Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa)


During an ongoing study investigating the impact of maternal HIV infection on pregnancy outcome at a large maternity hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, asymptomatic HIV positive women who had recently delivered were informed of their HIV sero-status and counselled by a trained nurse regarding contraception and reproductive behaviour in a single session. Both HIV infected women and a comparison group of uninfected women matched for pregnancy outcome were followed up after an interval of one year. Contraceptive use, condom use and pregnancy rates were similar in both groups. Only 37% of HIV infected women had informed their partners of their sero-status. The single session of counselling for the HIV positive women did not seem to influence decisions on subsequent condom use or reproductive behaviour. More intensive approaches to counselling need to be developed and evaluated, but may be difficult to implement in the busy maternity and antenatal clinics commonly found in developing countries.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

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