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About one-quarter of women with HIV want to become pregnant
Date:2/25/2008

COLUMBUS, Ohio About one in four women who have tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) expect pregnancy and motherhood to be a part of their future, recent research suggests.

A womans age at the time she learns of her HIV status appears to influence this decision. Women in an Ohio State University study who learned of their HIV infection when they were under age 30 were almost four times more likely to say they wanted to become pregnant than were women who were over 30 when they learned they had HIV.

Researchers say the findings point to a need for clinicians to be aware that women with HIV might be struggling with decisions about motherhood a relatively new phenomenon accompanying the increase in HIV-positive women of childbearing age and the longer survival rates among patients who receive treatment.

We shouldnt assume that women arent going to become pregnant or dont want to become pregnant now that they have HIV. Thats an erroneous assumption, said study co-author Julianne Serovich, professor and chair of human development and family science at Ohio State. Clinicians should be routinely discussing pregnancy with HIV-positive women of childbearing age.

In 2005, 29.5 percent of all new reported HIV infections and 27 percent of new AIDS cases in the United States were among women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Twenty years earlier, only 5 percent of new AIDS cases were reported in women. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.

The study is published in a recent issue of the journal AIDS and Behavior.

The researchers collected questionnaires about pregnancy decisions from 74 women who were participants in a larger, long-term study led by Serovich that explored womens HIV disclosure decisions and mental health. This particular line of research emerged from interviewers observations that participants were talking about pregnancy and, in some cases, becoming pr
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Contact: Julianne Serovich
JSerovich@ehe.osu.edu
614-292-5685
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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