259396 “I've always wanted a child”: Fertility Desires/Intentions and Knowledge of Mother-to-Child-Transmission among Individuals with Perinatally-Acquired HIV

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 9:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Cynthia Fair, LCSW, DrPH , Human Service Studies, Elon University, Elon, NC
Jamie Albright , Public Health Studies, Elon University, Elon, NC
Background: Today youth with perinatally-acquired HIV (PHIV) are living into young adulthood. This project examined fertility desires and intentions of the maturing population of individuals with perinatally-acquired HIV (PHIV) and their knowledge of prevention of mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT).

Methods: This cross-sectional study involved interviews with 33 individuals with PHIV recruited from two pediatric infectious disease clinics in the southeast U.S. The mean age of participants was 20.5 (range 15-30 years). The majority of participants were African American (n=29, 87.8%) and female (n=23, 69.7%). Knowledge of PMTCT and fertility desires and intentions were assessed. Interviews were transcribed and coded for accuracy of information.

Results: Approximately 18% (n=6) of participants had ever experienced a pregnancy and 9% (n=3) were current parents. Among participants, 84.8% (n=27) expressed a desire to have a child in the future among whom 96.4% (n=26) intend to to have a child. Only six participants accurately reported the risk of MTCT. The mean reported risk of MTCT was 32.3% (range 1-90%). Age and history of pregnancy were not related to knowledge. Despite errors in estimating risk, 48.5% (n=16) described the benefits of taking medicine for PMTCT.

Conclusions: Young adults with PHIV reported high levels of fertility desires and intentions yet had low levels of knowledge regarding PMTCT. Reproductive and sexual health education must include discussion of fertility desires and intentions rather than simply focusing on pregnancy and transmission prevention as a means to heighten the effectiveness of harm reduction strategies.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the public health importance of educating adolescents with HIV about preventing MTCT. 2. Describe the role that addressing fertility desires and intentions within a healthcare setting may have in harm reduction. 3. Identify common gaps in knowledge among youth with PHIV surrounding PMTCT.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working in the field of pediatric HIV since 1990 as a social worker and researcher.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 4044.0: HIV and Women