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The Social Legacy of AIDS: Fertility Aspirations Among HIV-Affected Women in Uganda

Publication Abstract

Snow, Rachel C., M. Mutumba, K. Resnicow, and G. Mugyenyi. 2013. "The Social Legacy of AIDS: Fertility Aspirations Among HIV-Affected Women in Uganda." American Journal of Public Health, 103(2): 278-285.

Objectives. We investigated the impact of HIV status on fertility desires in Uganda. Methods. We surveyed 1594 women aged 18 to 49 years visiting outpatient services at Mbarara Regional Hospital, from May through August 2010. Of these, 59.7% were HIV-positive; 96.4% of HIV-positive women were using antiretroviral therapy (ART). We used logistic regression models to examine relationships between HIV status and fertility desires, marital status, household structure, educational attainment, and household income. Results. Among married women, HIV-positive status was significantly associated with a lower likelihood of desiring more children (27.7% vs 56.4% of HIV-negative women; chi(2) = 39.97; P<.001). The difference remained highly significant net of age, parity, son parity, foster children, education, or household income. HIV-positive women were more likely to be poor, unmarried, single heads of household, in second marriages (if married), living with an HIV-positive spouse, and supporting foster children. Conclusions. We found a strong association between positive HIV status and lower fertility aspirations among married women in Uganda, irrespective of ART status. Although the increasing availability of ART is a tremendous public health achievement, women affected by HIV have numerous continuing social needs. (Am J Public Health. 2013;103:278-285. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.300892)

DOI:10.2105/ajph.2012.300892 (Full Text)

Country of focus: Uganda.

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