Is Unintended Pregnancy–Associated Internalized Stigma Experienced by Women Living With HIV in Kenya?

Aparna Jain , Population Council
Wilson Liambila, Population Council
Sara Chace Dwyer, Population Council
Charlotte Warren, Population Council

Unintended pregnancy among HIV-positive women ranges from 53% - 84% in some African countries. HIV-related internalized stigma, driven by real or perceived negative attitudes/discrimination, is the acceptance of negative feelings about oneself. We explore the relationship between unintended last pregnancy and internalized stigma using data from 1,550 HIV positive Kenyan women who were pregnant within five years of the survey. Results showed that women with an unintended last pregnancy were 1.34 (95%CI:1.09-1.67) times more likely to experience internalized stigma compared those with an intended pregnancy, adjusting for respondent characteristics, ARV treatment duration, HIV positive children, and self-reported health status. Thirty-one percent used contraception at last pregnancy, and of those 77% had an unintended pregnancy. Among those who did not use contraception, 48% had an unintended pregnancy. Results suggest when women are diagnosed with HIV, they need better family planning information. To tackle internalized stigma, we must also consider non-HIV-related drivers.

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 Presented in Session 1. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, & Reproductive Health 1