Reproductive Attitudes and Sexual Behavior of Women and Men Living with HIV

Olga Leshchenko, Margarita Bazyaeva, Albina Labygina

International Journal of Biomedicine. 2022;12(2):247-250.
DOI: 10.21103/Article12(2)_OA8
Originally published June 5, 2022


An anonymous survey was conducted, covering the issues of reproductive attitudes and contraceptive behavior in 50 women (mean age of 30.9±4.5 years) and 35 men (mean age of 31.1±3.2 years) with HIV infection of stages 4B and 4C. The study was carried out using a structured questionnaire that included questions about age, marital status, methods of contraception, reproductive plans, and reproductive and medical history. An anonymous interview with 85 HIV-infected respondents revealed that most of the women (82.0%) had contracted HIV through heterosexual contact, while in the men, the parenteral route of HIV infection predominated (57.1%) (P=0.0126). Statistically significant differences were found between the rate of single women and men: 21(42%) women versus 2(5.7%) men (P<0.001). An analysis of contraceptive behavior revealed statistically significant differences: 26% of the women and 8.6% of men (P<0.05) did not use any methods of contraception with regular or irregular sexual life. The majority of respondents used a barrier method of contraception and coitus interruptus. The vast majority of women (80%) had a desire to have children in an indefinite future, as opposed to 37.1% of the men (P<0.001). About 11.4% of men and 10% of women (P>0.05) definitely did not plan pregnancy in the future, mainly because of their unsatisfactory financial situation and the presence of a current HIV infection. Forty-two percent of the women did not undergo periodic medical examinations by a gynecologist or other specialists, and 44% of them indicated the reason for the lack of visits to the doctor as an unsatisfactory attitude of medical personnel towards them. The results obtained are important for the development of optimal medical care that alleviates the burden of HIV infection. In addition to medical care, health care providers must consider social and psychological needs to help HIV patients improve their health, including their sexual and reproductive health.

reproductive health • contraception • pregnancy • quality of life
  1. Lohse N, Gerstoft J, Kronborg G, Larsen CS, Pedersen C, Pedersen G, Nielsen L, Sørensen HT, Obel N. Comorbidity acquired before HIV diagnosis and mortality in persons infected and uninfected with HIV: a Danish population-based cohort study. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2011 Aug 1;57(4):334-9. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e31821d34ed. 
  2. NewsCAP: The WHO releases Consolidated Guideline on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Women Living with HIV. Am J Nurs. 2018 Jul;118(7):17. doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000541425.43842.d0. 
  3. Leshchenko O, Genich E. [Reproductive disorders and their pathogenetic mechanisms in women with HIV]. HIV Infection and Immunosuppressive Disorders. 2019;11(4):20-29. DOI:10.22328/2077-9828-2019-11-4-20-29. [Article in Russian].
  4. Hankins C, Gendron S, Tran T, Lamping D, Lapointe N. Sexuality in Montreal women living with HIV. AIDS Care. 1997 Jun;9(3):261-71. doi: 10.1080/713613156. 
  5. Leschenko OY, Genich EV. [The reproductive health and sexual behavior of HIV-infected women: the review]. Probl Sotsialnoi Gig Zdravookhranenniiai Istor Med. 2020 Mar;28(2):294-302. Russian. doi: 10.32687/0869-866X-2020-28-2-294-302.
  6. Heffron R, Davies N, Cooke I, Kaida A, Mergler R, van der Poel S, Cohen CR, Mmeje O. A discussion of key values to inform the design and delivery of services for HIV-affected women and couples attempting pregnancy in resource-constrained settings. J Int AIDS Soc. 2015 Dec 1;18(Suppl 5):20272. doi: 10.7448/IAS.18.6.20272. 
  7. Saleem HT, Narasimhan M, Denison JA, Kennedy CE. Achieving pregnancy safely for HIV-serodiscordant couples: a social ecological approach. J Int AIDS Soc. 2017 Mar 8;20(Suppl 1):21331. doi: 10.7448/IAS.20.2.21331. 
  8. Mmeje O, van der Poel S, Workneh M, Njoroge B, Bukusi E, Cohen CR. Achieving pregnancy safely: perspectives on timed vaginal insemination among HIV-serodiscordant couples and health-care providers in Kisumu, Kenya. AIDS Care. 2015;27(1):10–6.
  9.  Mmeje O, Njoroge B, Akama E, Leddy A, Breitnauer B, Darbes L, et al. Perspectives of healthcare providers and HIV-affected individuals and couples during the development of a safer conception counseling toolkit in Kenya: stigma, fears, and recommendations for the delivery of services. AIDS Care. 2016;28(6):750–7.
  10. Kolesnikova L, Kolesnikov S, Darenskaya M, Grebenkina L, Timofeeva E, Leshenko O. Menstrual and reproductive function in women with HIV-infection and antioxidant vitamins deficiency. J AIDS Clin Res. 2014;5:12:1-5. doi: 10.4172/2155-6113.1000382.
  11. Belyaeva E, Genich E, Leshchenko O. The Genotype Distribution of Human Papillomavirus among HIV-Infected Women Planning Pregnancy in Irkutsk, Russia. International Journal of Biomedicine. 2021;11(3):346-350. doi:10.21103/Article11(3)_OA11      
  12. Darenskaya M, Kolesnikov S, Grebenkina L, Timofeeva E, Leshenko O. The correlation between antioxidant deficiency and reproductive disorders in women with HIV-infection. Free Radical Biology & Medicine. 2017;112:129. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2017.10.194.
  13. Kalachikova O, Shabunova A. Reproductive behavior as a factor of population reproduction: trends and prospects. Vologda; 2015:169. 0In Russian].
  14. Ovcharova L. Determinants of population reproductive behavior and factors of family distress: the results of panel studies. Moscow Public Science Foundation; Independent Institute for Social Policy. Moscow; 2010: 247. [In Russian].
  15. Brickley DB, Almers L, Kennedy CE, Spaulding AB, Mirjahangir J, Kennedy GE, Packel L, Osborne K, Mbizvo M, Collins L. Sexual and reproductive health services for people living with HIV: a systematic review. AIDS Care. 2011 Mar;23(3):303-14. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2010.507746. 
  16. Pokrovskaya AV, Kozyrina NV, Gushchina YS, Yurin OG, Suvorova ZK, Pokrovsky VV. Sotsial'no-demograficheskii portret patsienta, zhivushchego s VICh i poseshchayushchego tsentry SPID v Rossii [The sociodemographic portrait of a patient living with HIV and visiting AIDS centers in Russia]. Ter Arkh. 2016;88(11):12-16. doi: 10.17116/terarkh2016881112-16. [Article in Russian].

Download Article
Received April 18, 2022.
Accepted May 25, 2022.
©2022 International Medical Research and Development Corporation.