Improved Treatment Allowing More Women Living with HIV to Get Pregnant

28 August 2017

New research shows that improved treatment is allowing more Canadian women living with HIV to get pregnant. According to the Canadian HIV Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health Cohort Study, nearly 25 percent of women reported a pregnancy after an HIV diagnosis. Angela Kaida, a co-author and a Canada research chair in global perspectives on HIV and sexual and reproductive health at Simon Fraser University, said women living with HIV are living healthier and longer lives when properly treated. "An HIV diagnosis doesn't preclude you from motherhood and that experience can be healthy, can be happy, can be wonderful and that's a reality that we didn't foresee in the earlier days of this epidemic," she said. The authors analyzed data involving 1,165 women living with HIV. Two-hundred-seventy-eight women reported 492 pregnancies after diagnosis, 61 per cent of which were unintended. The rate at which women with HIV are getting pregnant is lower than that of women without HIV, but the rate of unintended pregnancies is much higher. Among the general population, just 27 per cent of pregnancies are unplanned. Kaida said unintended doesn't necessarily mean unwanted, but the study does suggest there are gaps in reproductive planning for women living with HIV.

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