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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2012, Article ID 809682, 8 pages
Research Article

Fertility Intentions and Interest in Integrated Family Planning Services among Women Living with HIV in Nyanza Province, Kenya: A Qualitative Study

1Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94612, USA
2Centre for Microbiology Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
3Ibis Reproductive Health, 1330 Broadway, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612, USA

Received 20 February 2012; Accepted 21 May 2012

Academic Editor: Jean R. Anderson

Copyright © 2012 Elizabeth K. Harrington et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Despite increasing efforts to address the reproductive health needs of people living with HIV, a high unmet need for contraception exists among HIV+ women in sub-Saharan Africa. This study explores the fertility intentions and family planning (FP) preferences of Kenyan women accessing HIV treatment. We conducted 30 semistructured interviews and qualitatively analyzed the data with a grounded theory approach. Fears of premature death, financial hardship, and perinatal HIV transmission emerged as reasons for participants’ desire to delay/cease childbearing. Participants strongly identified FP needs, yet two-thirds were using male condoms alone or no modern method of contraception. Women preferred the HIV clinic as the site of FP access for reasons of convenience, provider expertise, and a sense of belonging, though some had privacy concerns. Our findings support the acceptability of integrated FP and HIV services. Efforts to empower women living with HIV to prevent unintended pregnancies must expand access to contraceptive methods, provide confidential services, and take into account women's varied reproductive intentions.