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Women's and Men's Fertility Preferences and Contraceptive Behaviors by HIV Status in 10 Sub-Saharan African Countries

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1521/aeap.2011.23.4.313

This article draws on biomarker data from Demographic and Health Surveys (2003–2007) in 10 sub-Saharan African countries to examine differences in fertility preferences and contraceptive behaviors by HIV status for women and men, taking into account whether or not they probably know their HIV status. The objective is to determine if there are common patterns in the associations between these variables across several countries.

Women's and men's fertility preferences and contraceptive behaviors are relatively similar across HIV status and probable knowledge of that status. However, two consistent differences emerge in some of the countries: HIV-positive women who probably know their status are less likely to want more children and are more likely to be using male condoms than women who are HIV-negative and probably know it. A similar association is observed for men for condom use but not for limiting childbearing. Other factors unrelated to HIV status seem to be shaping women's and men's unmet demand for contraception and use of methods other than the condom.