The availability of newer information and life prolonging antiretroviral drugs has provided the person living with HIV/AIDS the opportunity to contemplate and actually take the decision to embark on procreation. This study sets out to investigate the family planning practice and fertility desires and intentions of persons living with HIV/AIDS and the factors that influence these desires.
Methods: This study was conducted at Kogi state university Teaching Hospital KSUTH Anyigba, Kogi State, Nigeria. A total of 287 persons who presented for and are on ART who are clinically and /or laboratorily diagnosed as HIV stage 1-3 disease who give their consent were included in the cross sectional study by random sampling. The inclusion criteria were: confirmed HIV disease, Kanoffsky scale not less than 80%, 18 years of age or more but not more than 70 years, on ART and sexually active. A structured questionnaire was administered to the participants seeking to get information about their biodata, attitude to and knowledge of their condition and their family planning practice and fertility intentions.
Results: Two hundred and twenty five valid questionnaires out of the two hundred and eighty seven issued were analyzed and the obtained result is presented below. The study (Table Ia) showed the age range of respondents in years. Only one (0.4%) person was below 19 years and there was no body above the age of 59 years. There is (Table 1b) a mix of marital status; married, 131 (58.2%) constitute the majority, not married,65 (28.9%), divorced,9 (4%) and those in relationship,20 (8.9%). Women are still more affected by the disease (144 out of 225) than men and the serodiscordance in this study is significant. Although many seropositive persons are aware of family planning services and option only 21.8% of them use any method in this study. The consistent use of condom is only 42.7%. 73.3% of HIV seropositive persons have intention to have children.
Conclusion: Majority of the persons living with HIV/AIDS are aware of family planning services/options. Only few (49) (21.7%) of these people utilize any of the family planning options consistently. This presents a challenge for those saddled with integrating fertility/reproductive health services into HIV/AIDS care programmes. Health communicators also have a challenge to scale up the uptake of these services. Persons living with HIV/AIDS significantly show desires to have children (73.3%). There is significant association between the desire to have children and duration of antiretroviral therapy and the number of children already gotten by individuals who are HIV seropositive.