Desire for fertility among HIV-seroconcordant and -discordant couples in Lusaka, Zambia

Ryan Cook, Robert Hayden, Stephen M. Weiss, Deborah L. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Pregnancy rates and the desire to conceive are increasing among women living with HIV in Africa. However, attempts to conceive may increase the risk of HIV transmission or reinfection. A better understanding of factors influencing fertility desires would significantly contribute to programmes to meet the reproductive needs of women living with HIV. Using a couples-based approach, this paper explored fertility desires among HIV-seroconcordant and -discordant couples in Lusaka, Zambia. Participants were 208 heterosexual couples recruited from community health clinics and their respective catchment areas. Couples completed assessments on demographics, condom use, relationship quality and communication. Desire for children was often shared among couple members, and the strongest predictor of participants' desire for children was having a partner who wanted children. Additionally, the number of children participants had, their own reports of positive communication, and their partner's HIV serostatus influenced reproductive desires. Results support the involvement of both couple members in pre-conception counselling and pregnancy planning interventions. The inclusion of both partners may be a more effective strategy to respond to the reproductive needs of couples affected by HIV, enabling them to safeguard the health of both partners and infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-751
Number of pages11
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV
  • Zambia
  • couples counselling
  • intervention
  • pregnancy planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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