Fertility choices of sero-positive women in the community of Welbedacht West KwaZulu-Natal.
Zuma, Modestar Sinenhlanhla.
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Recent literature on childbearing and HIV has found a plethora of evidence suggesting that many women living with HIV continue to desire children, become pregnant and give birth after knowing their HIV status. This desire to have children has been associated with the availability of HAART and PMTC interventions and its improvement in the quality of life for sero-positive women. Although HIV- prevalence and fertility rates are amongst the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, little is known about how HIV infection affects the fertility preferences of women in KwaZulu-Natal.The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore fertility choices of sero-positive women in the community of Welbedacht West south of Durban in KwaZulu- Natal. Availability sampling was used to select twelve women of child bearing age who were part of a local support group. The sample included nine participants who were receiving antiretroviral therapy. Data was collected through in-depth interviews lasting about 45 minutes to an hour in isiZulu. These interviews were tape recorded translated into English after the interview process was completed; they were later transcribed to aid analysis. Data was analyzed using thematic analysis. The findings of this study revealed that sero-positive women desired having children and an HIV positive status was not a factor but their intentions were the primary determinants of behaviour as the theoretical framework used indicates. A risk it all approach in order to fulfil desired intentions proved to be a key theme. All participants had children pre-diagnosis and only four had children post diagnosis. A decision to conceive for some participants is influenced by pressure as a result of their marital, social and situational context.