Pregnancy wastage among HIV infected women in a high HIV prevalence district of India

Shiva S. Halli et al BMC Public Health 2015


Bagalkot district in Karnataka state is one of the highest HIV prevalence districts in India. A large proportion of the girls also marry at early age in the district and negative pregnancy outcomes among the HIV positive women likely to have large pregnancy wastages. Therefore, this study examined the pregnancy wastages and the associated factors among HIV positive women in a high prevalent district in India.

We used data from a cross-sectional survey conducted recently among randomly selected currently married HIV positive women, 15–29 years of age, in one of the high HIV prevalence districts in India. The study used the experience of reported pregnancy wastage as an outcome variable, and both bi-variate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were carried out to understand the factors associated with the pregnancy wastage among HIV infected women.

Overall, 17 % of the respondents reported pregnancy wastage, of which 81 % were due to spontaneous abortions. Respondents who became pregnant since testing HIV positive reported significantly higher level of pregnancy wastage as compared to those were pregnant before they were tested for HIV. (AOR = 1.9; p = 0.00). While a positive association between duration of marriage and pregnancy wastage was noticed (AOR = 7.4; p = 0.01), there was a negative association between number of living children and pregnancy wastage (AOR = 0.24; p = 0.00). Living in a joint family was associated with increased reporting of pregnancy wastage as compared to those living in nuclear families (AOR = 1.7; p = 0.03).

HIV prevention and care programs need to consider the reproductive health needs of HIV infected married women as a priority area since large proportion of these women reported negative pregnancy outcomes. There is also a need to explore ways to raise the age at marriage in order to stop women getting married before the legal age at marriage.