Family Planning Preferences among HIV Positives of Reproductive Age in Abuja Metropolis
Family planning preferences among HIV positives of reproductive age has been at the centre stage of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/AIDS. Heterosexual behavior of HIV positives of reproductive age has been found to be crucial in increasing incidence of HlV among general population. In most centers, HIV services are offered independently from family planning. Recent studies have revealed that there are a lot of areas of intersection between HIV services and family planning which is currently stimulating researches aimed at stemming the tide of HlV spread among the general population. There is need to look at the factors influencing the choice of family planning methods among HIV positive in Abuja metropolis. A wide range of these factors have been identified which influence the acceptance of family planning among seropositive patients of reproductive age. These factors have the overall impact on our effort to arrest spread of this dreaded disease among our teeming population. Abuja metropolis presents a perfect setting for this study because of the heterogeneous nature of the social strata. With increasing level of HIV awareness and level of integrating HlV services and family planning, most HIV positives are now desirous of having children in the future and also expect to have healthy sexual relationship. Thanks to newer highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) which has the efficacy of combating the viral load to undetectable levels with improved CD4 count. Method: A cross-sectional description study design was used to collect data using a structured questionnaire administered on the HIV positives of reproductive age. The study was conducted in four public hospitals viz – Kubwa, Maitama, Wuse, Nyanya General Hospitals which were randomly selected in Abuja metropolis between March 2012 – December 2012. The sample size was that of four hundred (400) HfV positive aged 18 – 39 years for female and 18 – 64 years for male. Informed consent was sought and obtained before commencing the study. Out of the 400 questionnaires distributed only 364 were retrieved. Results: In contrast to the expected results, the level of acceptance of family planning among Hl’V positives of reproductive age was not affected by their level of education. It was evident from the findings that the HlV positives were aware of various family planning methods and showed preference for condom as the commonest. The role of voluntary counseling and testing workers as source of family planning information was quite revealing. Most respondents appreciated VCT health worker’s provided contraceptives in reduction of HIV spread. They identified factors affecting choice of family planning as: level of education, spouse/partner influence, desire for children and religion . The impact of stigmatization and discrimination has equally reduced from the findings and this may be probably due to good information management by the VCT workers and other agents. Desire for children was common among both partners and their major reason was that prevention of mother -to child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV can help give a sero-negative birth. There was near general acceptance that integration of HIV service and family planning has improved HIV prevalence among the respondents. Female group were dominant and were m.,ore willing to volunteer information than their male counterpart. Conclusion: Prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV has been identified.
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