The need for a better understanding of the reproductive and sexual health issues of people living with HIV (PLHA) and the necessity to have policies to ensure the reproductive health rights of PLHA have been recently recognized by international agencies such as the WHO and UNFPA. However, research on the reproductive health issues of women with HIV is scarce. Very few studies exist on reproductive health issues and fertility of women with HIV, especially those from developing countries, including India. In addition, largely due to a lack of available data, the existing literature on the effects of HIV on fertility has mostly assessed the combined biological (effect of the virus) and behavioral effects (effect due to knowledge of HIV status and subsequent changes in sexual behavior) of HIV. However, knowledge of HIV positive status can have significantly different effects on fertility depending on sociocultural determinants of fertility, perceived risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, availability of services for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and the availability of antiretroviral treatment (ART) for couples. An understanding of differential biological and behavioral effects of HIV on fertility is important for providing care to HIV infected people and for the estimation of HIV infected women in need of PMTCT services.
The overall objective of this research is to examine the effect of HIV on the fertility of HIV infected women by differentially considering the biological and behavioral effects, and by taking into account the interaction of the timing of HIV diagnosis with timing and sequencing of reproductive events in the life of HIV infected Indian women, in the context of availability of PMTCT and ART services.
Type of research: Cross sectional quantitative study using life course and event history methodology (PhD research) among HIV infected women between the age of 18 - 45 years availing care from Prayas
Investigator: Dr. Shrinivas Darak
Supervisors (Academic): Professor Inge Hutter and Dr Fanny Janssen
Supervisors (Local) : Dr Sanjeevani Kulkarni (Prayas, Pune)
Funding: Population Research Centre, Department of Demography, University of Groningen, The Netherlands & Eric Bleumink Fund, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Start date: September 2008
End date: November 2013