Sexual and reproductive health needs and preferences of people living with HIV/AIDS in Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region

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Addis Ababa University


Background: Sexual and Reproductive needs and preferences of HIV positive individuals are changing due to the development of antiretroviral therapy (ART) as effective for HIV infection. Due to improvements of symptoms and the change in quality of life PLWHA regain their normal activities and new challenges and new opportunities are arising. Objective: The aim of this study is to assess sexual & reproductive needs and preferences of PLWHA receiving antiretroviral therapy in five Hospitals of Southern Nations Nationalities & peoples Region (SNNPR). Methods: A cross sectional survey on 461 Patients receiving ART in five hospitals of SNNPR, was carried out from February to March 2007. The data on sexual and reproductive needs and preferences, and other variables were collected using structured and pre-tested questionnaire. A Quantitative method is supplemented by Qualitative (in-depth interview). Result: Two hundred twenty three (49.1%) of HIV positive individuals were found to have sexual practice with regular partner, 191(42.1%) were abstained, 24(5.3 %) had sexual practice with no or inconsistent condom use and 16(3.5%) with multiple sexual partners. One hundred fifty four (33.9%) of the respondents expressed their desire for children. One hundred sixty nine (70.4%) of the study population had ever used at least one method of contraception during the study time, while 33(53.4%) wanted to use at least one method in the future. Condom and injectable are the most commonly used method of contraception in the past and preferred method to be used in the future. Generally, HIV positive individuals who had sexual risk were those non married & had sexual partner (adjusted OR: 6.99, 95% CI: 2.34-20.9) and reported alcohol use (Adjusted OR: 6.07, 95% CI: 1.87-19.7). Respondents in the age group 15-34 were more likely to desire children (adjusted OR: 1.91, 95% CI:1.13-3.24) than other age group. Followers of orthodox Christianity were less likely to desire children than other Christians (adjusted OR: 0.54, 95% CI = 0.33-0.91). Being married (adjusted OR: 1.78, 95% CI: 1.05-3.14), those who had risky sexual behavior (OR=1.73, 95% CI=1.02-2.95) and those who reported no currently alive children adjusted (OR: 4.41, 95% CI: 1.46-13.36) were more likely to desire children. vi Conclusion: Sexual & reproductive health needs and preferences of PLWHA are not affected by their HIV status. Risky sexual practice was not uncommon, high number of them expressed a wish for children and wants to use family planning. To address such issues proper promotion & counseling of subjects is important. Moreover, National and the International stakeholders should be coordinated for intervention.



Sexual and reproductive health needs