Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/5727
Role of HIV in the desire of procreation and motherhood in women living with HIV in Spain: a qualitative approach
BMC Womens Health. 2018; 18(1):24.
BACKGROUND: Improved antiretroviral treatments and decrease in vertical transmission of HIV have led to a higher number of women living with HIV to consider childbearing. However, stigma and social rejection result in specific challenges that HIV positive women with procreation intentions have to face with. Our objective was to in depth analyse elements shaping their desire for procreation and specifically investigate the impact of HIV. METHODS: A qualitative study was conducted through open interviews with 20 women living with HIV between 18 and 45 years of age, from the Spanish AIDS Research Network Cohort (CoRIS). Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. A content analysis was performed. RESULTS: HIV diagnosis is a turning point in women's sexual and emotional life that is experienced traumatically. HIV diagnosis is usually associated with the fear of an immediate death and the idea of social isolation. At this moment, women temporarily reject future motherhood or having a sexual life. HIV status is only disclosed to the closed social circle and partner support is essential in HIV diagnosis assimilation process. Health professionals provide information on assisted reproductive technology and on how to minimize risk of partner HIV transmission. Most of barriers for procreation acknowledged by women are not related to HIV. However, women fear vertical transmission and experience other barriers derived from HIV infection. In this context, pregnancy makes women feel themselves as "normal women" despite HIV. Motherhood is considered an element of compensation that helps them to cope with HIV diagnosis. All these elements make health professionals key actors: they provide information and support after HIV diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: Barriers and drivers for procreation are similar among HIV positive women and general population. However, stigma and discrimination linked with HIV weigh in HIV positive women decision of motherhood. In this context, it is necessary to provide these women with the necessary counselling, guidance and resources to take decisions about procreation properly informed.
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