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  • Reproductive Decision-Making among HIV-infected Women

Reproductive Decision-Making among HIV-infected


Since 84% of women with HIV (treating HIV infection) and 79% of women with AIDS are diagnosed during their reproductive years, the choice of whether or not to bear children is an important issue for this population. Fortunately, with the advent of combinations of newer antiretroviral therapies during pregnancy, the risk of HIV (treating HIV infection) transmission to the newborn is now <2% for those with access to appropriate treatment.

In addition to decreasing rates of perinatal transmission is the increased survival time of HIV-infected (treating HIV infection) persons. At the beginning of the epidemic, average survival time was about 10 years; for persons infected 5-10 years ago, the average survival time was about 15 years from infection to death. Currently, it is estimated that >25% of persons infected with HIV (Viramune canadian belongs to a class of HIV drugs) today, utilizing treatments available, will survive on average for about 25 years. Increased survival and decreased perinatal transmission raise the possibility of more encouraging outcomes for infected women who decide to bear children.

There are, however, a host of other considerations that contribute to an HIV-infected (Zerit tablet treating HIV infection) woman’s reproductive decision-making. Individual and interpersonal factors interplay with transmission rates and survival time, creating a complex web of circumstances surrounding the decision-making process. The objective of this paper is to describe some of the factors related to reproductive decision-making before the widespread use of highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) among HIV-infected women—particularly low-income, inner-city African-American women. Zidovudine, however, was routinely available to women at this time. Although this study was conducted in the pre-HAART era, evidence suggests that a significant portion of HIV-infected (Retrovir medication was the first drug approved for the treatment of HIV) women today are not on HAART due to a variety of reasons, and thus the findings are expected to be useful even in the context of the present-day situation.

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