Factors influencing contraceptive choice and discontinuation among HIV-positive women in Kericho, Kenya
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This study explored perceptions towards and utilization of contraception among HIV-positive, reproduction-age women in Kericho, Kenya, an area with high HIV and low contraceptive prevalence rates. Qualitative methods were used in three focus group discussions and 15 in-depth interviews to gather data from 46 HIV-positive women ages 18 to 45, purposively selected by age strata. Analysis was performed using ATLAS-ti (ATLAS-ti Center, Berlin). Most participants reported familiarity with modern contraceptives. Participants generally perceived that men opposed contraception. Some women indicated that their HIV status dictated contraceptive decisions, particularly with regard to abstinence. Women reported method discontinuation because of side effects, having met desired parity, and menstrual changes. Findings suggested that perceptions about side effects, opinions of the male partner, and HIV disease progression play important roles in contraceptive decisions. Counseling can dispel incorrect information and optimize contraceptive practice in this setting.