HIV care providers’ communication with patients about safer conception for people living with HIV in Tanzania

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Context: People living with HIV may desire children, but often lack information about safer conception and pregnancy and face barriers to obtaining high-quality reproductive health services. To inform clinical guidance that supports HIV-affected couples wanting to conceive, it is important to better understand communication between patients and providers about childbearing and safer-conception guidelines for people living with HIV. Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with 30 providers of HIV-related services in seven health facilities in Iringa, Tanzania, and with 60 HIV-positive women and men attending study facilities. The study followed an iterative research process and used thematic content analysis. Results: Providers reported that they had received limited training on childbearing and safer conception for HIV-positive people, and that clinical guidance in Tanzania on the subject is poor. Although many providers mentioned that people living with HIV have the right to bear children, some HIV-positive patients reported having been discouraged by providers from having more children. Only a few HIV-positive patients reported having learned about safer-conception strategies for HIV-affected couples through discussions with health providers. CONCLUSIONS: Guidance on safer-conception and safe-pregnancy counseling for women and men living with HIV in Tanzania needs to be updated. It is critical that providers be trained in safe pregnancy and safer conception for HIV-affected couples, and that HIV and sexual and reproductive health services be integrated, so that HIV-positive patients and their partners are able to plan their pregnancies and to receive the care they need to manage their health and their pregnancies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-186
Number of pages8
JournalInternational perspectives on sexual and reproductive health
Volume42
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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