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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3371.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 4:50 PM

Abstract #108289

Studies find positive attitudes and use of condoms by HIV-positive women: An opportunity for PMTCT programs

Naomi Rutenberg, PhD1, Carolyn Baek, MSC1, Scott Geibel, MPH2, and Susan Kaai, MSc2. (1) Horizons, Population Council, 4301 Connecticut Ave, NW Suite 280, Washington, DC 20008, (202)237-9405, nrutenberg@pcdc.org, (2) Horizons, Population Council, P.O. Box 17643, Nairobi, Kenya

Condoms used consistently by HIV-infected women provide protection against HIV transmission, re-infection with other HIV strains, STIs and unwanted pregnancy, thus contributing to HIV prevention, better treatment options, and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. PMTCT services are an important outlet for promoting condoms for multiple protection. We reviewed data from international operations research studies of PMTCT services conducted by the Horizons program regarding attitudes towards and use of condoms. HIV-positive women view condoms as safe for their health, providing protection from re-infection and from STIs that may compromise their health, unlikely to interact with their HIV infection, and preventing unwanted pregnancy. They are also perceived as reliably available and cheap, even if they have to be purchased. Moreover, PMTCT sites promote condoms for HIV-positive women. In all secular sites we visited in Uganda, Kenya, India, Thailand, and the Dominican Republic, providers and managers indicated that condoms are offered at the site, and are actively promoted for dual protection against HIV/STIs and unwanted pregnancy. These positive attitudes are borne out in data on condom use. In three of the four sites (3 in Kenya and 1 in Zambia) with data on contraceptive use by HIV status, HIV-positive women were more likely to use condoms than HIV-negative women. The major obstacle to condom use is obtaining the concurrence of male partners. Counseling HIV-positive women on condoms should include whether and how a woman can disclose her HIV status and how to encourage her partner to get an HIV test.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA