Contraception Among HIV Concordant and Discordant Couples in Zambia: A Randomized Controlled Trial

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2007 Oct;16(8):1200-10. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2006.0238.


Objectives: This study examines the impact of an intervention to promote dual-method contraceptive use among HIV concordant and discordant couples already using condoms for HIV prevention.

Methods: A three-armed randomized, controlled trial was conducted at a voluntary HIV testing and counseling clinic in Lusaka, Zambia; 251 couples were randomized. Control couples received family planning education and referral to an outside clinic for nonbarrier contraceptives, intervention 1 couples received education and offer of contraceptives at the research clinic, and intervention 2 couples received intervention 1 plus a presentation designed to reduce outside pressures to conceive.

Results: There was a 3-fold higher contraceptive initiation rate in both intervention arms compared with the control arm. The interventions had no impact on incident pregnancy, largely due to high levels of contraceptive discontinuation and user failure. HIV-positive women who initially selected injectable contraception were less likely to abandon the method and significantly less likely to conceive than other study participants.

Conclusions: Improving access to nonbarrier contraceptives among couples already using condoms for HIV prevention increased dual-method use. Selection of longer-acting injectable contraception was associated with lower pregnancy rates among HIV-positive women. Further research is needed to identify ways to help couples in this population continue to correctly use nonbarrier contraceptives.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Contraception / methods
  • Contraception / statistics & numerical data*
  • Contraceptive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy, Unwanted
  • Sex Education / methods
  • Sex Education / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Women's Health
  • Zambia


  • Contraceptive Agents