SFU Canada Research Chairs Seminar Series: "Examining the impact of expanding access to HIV prevention and treatment services on the reproductive health of HIV-affected women in HIV endemic settings"

Thursday, November 7, 2013
11:30 - 12:30

Dr. Angela Kaida
Faculty of Health Science, SFU


Nearly 80% of the world's 15.5 million HIV-infected women live in sub-Saharan Africa, where heterosexual intercourse is the primary mode of HIV transmission. Although a plethora of evidence demonstrates that women living with HIV continue to desire biological children, become pregnant, and give birth after knowing their HIV-positive status, the sexual and reproductive health concerns of people living with HIV have received little attention. Growing population-level access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) is dramatically decreasing mortality and morbidity rates among HIV-infected people and reducing risks of vertical and sexual transmission, thereby changing the landscape for reproduction among people affected by HIV. Recent evidence regarding effectiveness of vaginal microbicides, ‘Treatment as Prevention’ strategies, and antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) are likely to offer additional protection for HIV-affected couples wishing to conceive. Our research program explores the influence of expanding access to HIV prevention and treatment services on reproductive intentions, behaviours, and outcomes of HIV-affected individuals. This talk will present our current understanding of reproductive health priorities among HIV-infected individuals in high HIV prevalence and high fertility settings and will highlight the importance of this work towards developing and implementing bio-behavioural strategies to support HIV-affected people achieve their reproductive goals while minimizing risks to maternal, partner, and child health.