Original research article| Volume 95, ISSUE 3, P312-321, March 2017

HIV/AIDS and contraceptive use: factors associated with contraceptive use among sexually active HIV-positive women in Kenya



      With increased availability of antiretroviral therapy and improved survival for people living with HIV, more HIV-positive women are leading full reproductive lives. However, HIV-positive women have special contraceptive needs/concerns. This paper examines the individual and community-level HIV/AIDS factors associated with contraceptive use and compares predictors of contraceptive uptake between HIV-positive and HIV-negative women in Kenya.

      Study design

      The study is based on secondary analysis of cross-sectional data of a sample of 9132 sexually active women of reproductive age from the Kenya Demographic and Health Surveys collected in 2003 and 2008. Multilevel logistic regression models are used to examine individual and contextual community-level factors associated with current contraceptive use.


      The study provides evidence of lower contraceptive uptake among women living in high HIV-prevalence communities. It further reveals striking differences in factors associated with contraceptive uptake between HIV-positive and HIV-negative women. Education and the desire to stop childbearing are strongly associated with contraceptive uptake among uninfected women, but both factors are not significant among HIV-positive women for whom wealth is the most important factor. While HIV-negative women in the richest wealth quintile are about twice as likely to use contraceptives as their counterparts of similar characteristics in the poorest quintile, this gap is about sevenfold among HIV-positive women.


      These findings suggest that having the desire and relevant knowledge to use contraceptives does not necessarily translate into expected contraceptive behavior for HIV-positive women in Kenya and that poor HIV-positive women may be particularly in need of increased access to contraceptive services.


      • Study provides evidence of lower contraceptive uptake among women living in high HIV-prevalence communities in Kenya.
      • Results reveal striking differences in factors associated with contraceptive use between HIV-positive and HIV-negative women.
      • Poverty may be an impediment to contraceptive uptake among HIV-positive women in Kenya.


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