Fertility desires and unmet need for family planning among HIV infected individuals in two HIV clinics with differing models of family planning service delivery

BMC Womens Health. 2015 Jan 28:15:5. doi: 10.1186/s12905-014-0158-x.


Background: Eliminating family planning (FP) unmet need among HIV-infected individuals (PLHIV) is critical to elimination of mother-to-child HIV transmission. We assessed FP unmet need among PLHIV attending two clinics with differing models of FP services. Nsambya Home Care provided only FP information while Mulago HIV clinic provided information and contraceptives onsite.

Methods: In a cross-sectional study conducted between February-June 2011, we documented pregnancies, fertility desires, and contraceptive use among 797 HIV-infected men and women (408 in Mulago and 389 in Nsambya). FP unmet need was calculated among women who were married, unmarried but had sex within the past month, did not desire the last or future pregnancy at all or wished to postpone for ≥ two years and were not using contraceptives. Multivariable analyses for correlates of FP unmet need were computed for each clinic.

Results: Overall, 40% (315) had been pregnant since HIV diagnosis; 58% desired the pregnancies. Of those who were not pregnant, 49% (366) did not desire more children at all; 15.7% wanted children then and 35.3% later. The unmet need for FP in Nsambya (45.1%) was significantly higher than that in Mulago at 30.9% (p = 0.008). Age 40+ compared to 18-29 years (OR = 6.05; 95% CI: 1.69, 21.62 in Mulago and OR = 0.21; 95% CI: 0.05, 0.90 in Nsambya), other Christian denominations (Pentecostal and Seventh Day Adventists) compared to Catholics (OR = 7.18; 95% CI: 2.14, 24.13 in Mulago and OR = 0.23; 95% CI: 0.06, 0.80 in Nsambya), and monthly expenditure > USD 200 compared to < USD40 in Nsambya (OR = 0.17; 95% CI: 0.03, 0.90) were associated with FP unmet need.

Conclusions: More than half of the pregnancies in this population were desired. Unmet need for FP was very high at both clinics and especially at the clinic which did not have contraceptives onsite. Lower income and younger women were most affected by the lack of contraceptives onsite. Comprehensive and aggressive FP programs are required for fertility support and elimination of FP unmet need among PLHIV, even with integration of FP information and supplies into HIV clinics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Contraception Behavior* / psychology
  • Contraception Behavior* / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Delivery of Health Care / methods
  • Family Planning Services* / methods
  • Family Planning Services* / organization & administration
  • Female
  • Fertility*
  • HIV Infections* / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections* / psychology
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marriage / psychology
  • Marriage / statistics & numerical data
  • Models, Organizational
  • Motivation
  • Pregnancy
  • Sex Education / methods*
  • Sexual Partners / psychology
  • Uganda / epidemiology