Health  Vol.5 No.12 , December 2013
Pregnancy decisions of married women living with HIV during wide access to antiretroviral therapy in southern Malawi

Availability of antiretroviral therapy and prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV programmes have increased childbearing decisions in people living with HIV. However, pregnancy decisions of married women living with HIV have not been adequately reported in Malawi. In order to provide information to inform the development of antiretroviral and family planning services targeted to the unique needs of women living with HIV, this study explored pregnancy decisions of women living with HIV in rural southern Malawi. Twenty in-depth interviews on married women living with HIV selected purposively were conducted in two antiretroviral clinics of patrilineal Chikhwawa and matrilineal Chiradzulu districts in 2010. With their pregnancy and child rearing experiences, the women who got pregnant after a positive HIV diagnosis decided to never get pregnant again. Their lived experiences of motherhood when living with HIV play a major role in their pregnancy decisions despite free access to antiretroviral therapy, which has improved the quality of their life’s and survival. Societies in Malawi must accept this behavioural change by married women living with HIV and their needs for family planning. Health care workers must be knowledgeable and sensitive about it and assist women living with HIV who are willing to adapt their pregnant decisions based on living experiences.


Cite this paper: Gombachika, B. and Sundby, J. (2013) Pregnancy decisions of married women living with HIV during wide access to antiretroviral therapy in southern Malawi. Health, 5, 2022-2031. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.512274.

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