Child desire in women and men living with HIV attending HIV outpatient clinics: evidence from a European multicentre study

C. Nöstlinger, F. Desjardins, J. Dec, T. Platteau, E. Hasker

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


Objectives Fertility-related decisions are challenging for women and couples living with HIV, in spite of vertical HIV transmission rates lower than 1% under effective antiretroviral treatment. This multicentre study identified factors influencing child desire of women and men living with HIV in Europe. Methods We gathered quantitative data by means of anonymous, self-administered questionnaires distributed through a network of 13 European HIV treatment centres. Data analysis employed descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression. Results The majority of 427 heterosexual HIV-positive study participants were sexually active. Forty-three percent reported a child desire, 28% had unmet family planning needs. Factors independently associated with child desire were: being younger than 36 years for both genders, and having no children for women. Perceived HIV-related discrimination by health care providers was associated negatively with child desire for women, but positively for men. Conclusions Many women and men living with HIV in Europe desire children and have fertility intentions, for which they need unbiased support to conceive and deliver safely. Comprehensive and gender-specific sexual and reproductive health counselling, including pre-conception and contraceptive counselling, should be integrated into HIV care delivery.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)251-263
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Viral diseases
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • Men
  • Women
  • Seropositivity
  • Outpatients
  • Children
  • Reproductive health
  • Fertility
  • Family planning
  • Health care delivery
  • Discrimination
  • Unmet needs
  • Europe


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