The value of contraception to prevent perinatal HIV transmission

Sex Transm Dis. 2006 Jun;33(6):350-6. doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000194602.01058.e1.


Objective: The objective of this study was to highlight the value of preventing unintended pregnancies among HIV-infected women as a strategy to prevent perinatal HIV transmission.

Goal: The goal of this study was to assess the cost-effectiveness of family planning programs to avert HIV-positive births with the current programmatic emphasis: prenatal care services that provide and promote nevirapine for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Study design: Cost-effectiveness analyses were conducted from the health system perspective during 1 year with a hypothetical sub-Saharan African population. Expected program costs were combined with number of HIV-positive births averted for each strategy.

Results: At the same level of expenditure, the contraceptive strategy averts 28.6% more HIV-positive births than nevirapine for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Conclusions: Increasing contraceptive use among nonusers of contraception who do not want to get pregnant is cost-effective and is an equally important strategy to prevent perinatal transmission as prenatal care programs that provide and promote nevirapine to HIV-infected mothers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Africa South of the Sahara / epidemiology
  • Anti-HIV Agents / economics
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use
  • Contraception / economics*
  • Contraception / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nevirapine / economics
  • Nevirapine / therapeutic use
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / prevention & control*
  • Prenatal Care / economics
  • Prenatal Care / statistics & numerical data


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Nevirapine