A systematic review of factors influencing fertility desires and intentions among people living with HIV/AIDS: implications for policy and service delivery
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With availability of antiretroviral treatments, HIV is increasingly recognised as a chronic disease people live with for many years. This paper critically reviews the current literature on fertility desires and reproductive intentions among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) and critiques the theoretical frameworks and methodologies used. A systematic review was conducted using electronic databases: ISI Web of Knowledge, Science Direct, Proquest, Jstor and CINAHL for articles published between 1990 and 2008. The search terms used were fertility desire, pregnancy, HIV, reproductive decision making, reproductive intentions, motherhood, fatherhood and parenthood. Twenty-nine studies were reviewed. Fertility desires were influenced by a myriad of demographic, health, stigma-associated and psychosocial factors. Cultural factors were also important, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Future research that examines fertility desires among PLHIV should include cultural beliefs and practices in the theoretical framework in order to provide a holistic understanding and to enable development of services that meet the reproductive needs of PLHIV.
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