Sexual Behaviors and Procreational Intentions of Adolescents and Young Adults With Perinatally Acquired Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection: Experience of an Urban Tertiary Center
August 1, 2006
The current study was conducted to assess sexual knowledge, behaviors, and procreational intentions of adolescents and young adults with perinatally acquired human immunodeficiency virus (PNA HIV) infection. As children with PNA HIV increasingly survive to adolescence and become sexually active, understanding their procreational intentions could aid in designing reproductive health and secondary prevention programs, according to the authors.
The researchers conducted a cross-sectional survey of adolescents and young adults with PNA HIV at an urban tertiary center. From June 2003 through September 2004, participants completed a questionnaire that asked about their sexual knowledge and behaviors. Participants aware of their diagnoses also completed items regarding procreational intentions.
Seventy-four percent (57/77) of eligible participants completed the survey. Thirty-three percent (19/57) reported having had penile-vaginal intercourse, 89.4 percent of them after learning their HIV status. Fifty percent (5/10) of sexually active female participants had been pregnant. Among the 50 participants who were aware of their diagnosis, 70 percent (n=35) expressed an intent to have children. A majority of those aware of the risk of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) (71.1 percent) expressed intent to procreate. Participants who perceived the risk of MTCT as low were more likely to express intent to procreate than those who perceived the risk as high.
"Adolescents with PNA HIV infection are becoming sexually active and express intent to have children," the authors concluded. "This has important implications for secondary prevention of HIV infection. These adolescents need innovative intervention programs offering reproductive health education including procreational choices and considerations."
Journal of Adolescent Health
06.06; Vol. 38; No. 6: P. 719-725; Echezona E. Ezeanolue, M.D., M.P.H.; A. Patricia Wodi, M.D.; Rakesh Patel, M.D.; Arry Dieudonne, M.D.; James M. Oleske, M.D., M.P.H.
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.