The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
GM led conduct of the overall study, conceived of this analysis, and led the writing of the manuscript. KW conducted the main analysis. CM helped direct additional analyses and contributed to manuscript writing including reference review and selection. SM assisted with manuscript writing and review. GA helped lead the overall study, and assisted with reviewing the manuscript. MD, MS, JDM, and KM interviewed and cared for study participants, and reviewed the manuscript, JL assisted with data preparation, analysis and interpretation, JM contributed to overall study oversight and the manuscript. BK and SL designed and led the overall study and assisted with writing and review of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Little is known about the impact of knowledge of HIV serostatus on pregnancy intention and contraceptive use in high-HIV-burden southern African settings in the era of widespread antiretroviral treatment availability.
We analyzed interview data collected among 473 HIV-uninfected and 468 HIV-infected pregnant and recently postpartum women at two sites in southern Botswana. Participants were interviewed about their knowledge of their HIV status prior to pregnancy, intendedness of the pregnancy, contraceptive use, and future childbearing desires.
The median age of the 941 women was 27 years, median lifetime pregnancies was 2, and 416 (44 %) of pregnancies were unintended. Among women reporting unintended pregnancy, 36 % were not using a contraceptive method prior to conception. Among contraception users, 81 % used condoms, 13 % oral contraceptives and 5 % an injectable contraceptive. In univariable analysis, women with unintended pregnancy had a higher number of previous pregnancies (P = <0.0001), were less educated (P = 0.0002), and less likely to be married or living with a partner (P < 0.0001). Thirty-percent reported knowing that they were HIV-infected, 48 % reported knowing they were HIV-uninfected, and 22 % reported not knowing their HIV status prior to conception. In multivariable analysis, women who did not know their HIV status pre-conception were more likely to report their pregnancy as unintended compared to women who knew that they were HIV-uninfected (aOR = 1.7; 95%CI: 1.2-2.5). After controlling for other factors, unintended pregnancy was not associated with knowing one’s HIV positive status prior to conception (compared with knowing one’s negative HIV status prior to conception). Among women with unintended pregnancy, there was no association between knowing their HIV status and contraceptive use prior to pregnancy in adjusted analyses. Sixty-one percent of women reported not wanting any more children after this pregnancy, with HIV-infected women significantly more likely to report not wanting any more children compared to HIV-uninfected women (aOR = 3.9; 95%CI: 2.6-5.8).
The high rates of reported unintended pregnancy and contraceptive failure/misuse underscore an urgent need for better access to effective contraceptive methods for HIV-uninfected and HIV -infected women in Botswana. Lower socioeconomic status and lack of pre-conception HIV testing may indicate higher risk for unintended pregnancy in this setting.