Fertility rates in 238 HIV-1-seropositive women in Zaire followed for 3 years post-partum

AIDS. 1991 Dec;5(12):1521-7. doi: 10.1097/00002030-199112000-00016.


Birth-control use and fertility rates were prospectively determined in 238 HIV-1-seropositive and 315 HIV-1-seronegative women in Kinshasa, Zaire, during the 36-month period following the delivery of their last live-born child. No women delivered children during the first follow-up year. Birth-control utilization rates (percentage use during total observation time) and fertility rates (annual number of live births per 1000 women of child-bearing age) in the second year of follow-up were 19% (107.4 per 1000) for HIV-1-seropositive women and 16% (144.7 per 1000) for HIV-1-seronegative women. In the third year of follow-up these rates were 26 (271.0 per 1000) and 16% (38.6 per 1000) for HIV-1-seropositive and HIV-1-seronegative women, respectively (P less than 0.05 for the difference in birth-control utilization and fertility rates between seropositive and seronegative women in the third year of follow-up). Seven (2.9%) of the 238 HIV-1-seropositive women initially included in the study brought their sex partners in for HIV-1 testing; three (43%) of these men were found to be HIV-1-seropositive. New HIV-1 infection did not have a dramatic effect on the fertility of seropositive women. The nearly uniform unwillingness of HIV-1-seropositive women to inform husbands or sexual partners of their HIV-1 serostatus accounted in large part for the disappointingly high fertility rates in seropositive women who had been provided with a comprehensive program of HIV counseling and birth control. Counseling services for seropositive women of child-bearing age which do not also include these women's sexual partners are unlikely to have an important impact on their high fertility rates.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Complex
  • Abortion, Spontaneous
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
  • Contraceptive Devices, Male
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Family Planning Services*
  • Female
  • Fertility*
  • HIV Seropositivity* / physiopathology
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prospective Studies