Objective: To evaluate the impact of counseling on reproductive choices in seropositive women in South-Eastern Italy.
Setting: University Hospital, Apulia region, South-Eastern Italy, tertiary referral center for high risk obstetrics and infectious diseases.
Methods: Between March 1985 and December 1996, two hundred and twenty-five HIV-infected women, receiving treatment at our clinic for infectious diseases were enrolled. They were all regularly given treatment and counseling and their sexual partners, if negative, tested for HIV-1 antibodies. Their reproductive choices and their attitude toward pregnancy were recorded and analyzed.
Results: Seventy-six pregnancies were observed during this period in 76 women. Twenty-one of these women (27.7 %) decided to terminate the pregnancy. Women that were intravenous drug users or with a longer history of known seropositivity were more likely to have a termination. A decreasing trend in the request of abortion was observed with time.
Conclusions: The data show that the scenario of HIV-infected women is changing in our setting. As a consequence, many seropositive women deliberately choose to have a pregnancy and factors different from those we expect to be modified by the counseling influence their reproductive choice. They should be taken into account in the management of these women before and during pregnancy.
Copyright (c)1999 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG