Does counselling improve uptake of long-term and permanent contraceptive methods in a high HIV-prevalence setting?
CITATION: Siveregi, A., et al. 2015. Does counselling improve uptake of long-term and permanent contraceptive methods in a high HIV-prevalence setting?. African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine, 7(1):1-9, doi:10.4102/phcfm.v7i1.779.
The original publication is available at http://www.phcfm.org
Background: Studies have shown a reduced uptake of contraceptive methods in HIV-positive women of childbearing age, mainly because of unmet needs that may be a result of poor promotion of available methods of contraception, especially long-term and permanent methods (LTPM). Aim: To compare the uptake of contraceptive methods, and particularly LTPM, by HIV-positive and HIV negative post-partum mothers, and to assess the effects of counselling on contraceptive choices. Setting: Three government district hospitals in Swaziland. Methods: Interviews were conducted using a structured questionnaire, before and after counselling HIV negativeand HIV-positive post-partum women in LTPM use, unintended pregnancy rates, future fertility and reasons for contraceptive choices. Results: A total of 711 women, of whom half were HIV-positive, participated in the study. Most (72.3% HIV-negative and 84% HIV-positive) were on modern methods of contraception, with the majority using 2-monthly and 3-monthly injectables. Intended use of any contraceptive increased to 99% after counselling. LTPM use was 7.0% in HIV-negative mothers and 15.3% in HIV-positive mothers before counselling, compared with 41.3% and 42.4% in HIV-negative and HIV-positive mothers, respectively, after counselling. Pregnancy intentions and counselling on future fertility were significantly associated with current use of contraception, whilst current LTPM use and level of education were significantly associated with LTPM post-counselling. Conclusion: Counselling on all methods including LTPM reduced unmet needs in contraception in HIV positive and HIV-negative mothers and could improve contraceptive uptake and reduce unintended pregnancies. Health workers do not always remember to include LTPM when they counsel clients, which could result in a low uptake of these methods. Further experimental studies should be conducted to validate these results.