Pregnant and Nonpregnant Women in Cape Town, South Africa: Drug Use, Sexual Behavior, and the Need for Comprehensive Services

Int J Pediatr. 2011;2011:353410. doi: 10.1155/2011/353410. Epub 2011 Apr 6.

Abstract

The multiple risks associated with methamphetamine use are of serious concern for women. These risks and consequences are magnified during pregnancy. This secondary analysis of a parent study compared 26 pregnant to 356 nonpregnant women in Cape Town, South Africa, on selected demographic, psychosocial, and HIV-risk domains to identify their treatment service needs. Proportionally, more pregnant than nonpregnant women are using methamphetamine, P = .01, although a very high rate of women used methamphetamine. Women reported similar monthly rates of sexual intercourse, but pregnant women were significantly less likely to report condom use, P < .0001, maintaining their risky behavior. Both groups reported elevated Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale CES-D means, suggesting a need for depression treatment. Results demonstrate a pervasive need for women's comprehensive treatment, regardless of pregnancy status. Moreover, findings support the urgent need for women-focused and pregnancy-specific treatment services for methamphetamine use. Finally, a job-skills training/employment component focus is suggested.