Contraceptive use and fertility intentions of HIV-positive women in two health districts in Yaounde, Cameroon.
HIV-positive women may desire to have children, plan their family size or avoid becoming pregnant. The choice to use or not to use a contraceptive method depends on this desire which is influenced by their fertility intentions. Among HIV-positive women who are avoiding unintended pregnancy, the use of condoms on their own or with another contraceptive method also lessens the possibility of infecting uninfected partners in sero-discordant relationships and prevents possible vertical transmission to the infant. Barrier methods like the condom used alone or in combination with other methods provide HIV-positive women with protection against pregnancy and against the transmission of HIV. Several factors including their fertility intentions influence their uptake and use of these various methods. In urban health districts in Yaounde in Cameroon where the prevalence of HIV in women remains higher than the national average and with observed increasing rates of abortions within this population, very little information is available both about their fertility intentions and contraceptive use. An understanding of the fertility intentions of HIV-positive women and their uptake and use of dual protection is helpful in informing family planning activities for HIVpositive persons and possibly informing services to provide safer options for conception in HIV-positive women.