March 4, 2011
These articles are transcripts of presentations delivered at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria. Six women, each one a prominent, longtime advocate for HIV-positive women in her country, discuss the family-planning struggles women living with HIV/AIDS face -- and how these challenges might be met -- in cultures ranging from the traditional to the technologically advanced. The original session took place on July 21, 2010.1
The increased life expectancy and improved life quality of people living with HIV/AIDS in some regions --and the fact that globally many people living with HIV/AIDS are of reproductive age -- has led to the consideration of issues related to safe pregnancy planning and other reproductive options. Despite the intentions and desires of many people living with HIV/AIDS to have children, there remains a scarcity of safe pregnancy planning, conception, fertility and other reproductive options.
"It's of tremendous importance to talk and discuss about these access questions," says presenter Ulrike Sonnenberg-Schwan, a longtime advocate from Germany; " because family planning -- which ranges from the wish to have a child or the decision to have no child, about contraception, conception, fertility issues -- needs to be improved nearly all over the world."
The overall objectives of this session were to provide a comprehensive, multi-regional review of pregnancy planning and reproductive issues for people living with HIV/AIDS -- including current research and best practices from a variety of stakeholders.