Knowledge, attitude and use of effective contraception by women living with HIV in Latvia

Violeta Bule, Ieva Pitkēviča, Gunta Lazdāne

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Objectives. Choice of effective contraception plays a major role in achieving the reproductive goal of every woman living with HIV (WLHIV), avoiding unwanted, unintended pregnancies and planning a pregnancy with minimal risks for mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The latest RH national survey (2011) confirmed low affective contraception prevalence in the general population, no data were available about WLHIV. Latvia has one of the highest numbers of new HIV cases in EU. Numerous studies from other countries demonstrated low uptake of highly effective contraception among this group. This study assessed knowledge about effective contraception and contraceptive method preferences among WLHIV in Latvia. Design and Methods. This study was conducted by Riga Stradins University (RSU) the Institute of Public Health and funded by the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health grant. A cross-sectional survey of WLHIV aged 18 to 49 years, who reported being sexually active within the previous 12 months, took place in the non-governmental organizations (AGIHAS, DIA+LOGS) from March 2019 until October 2020. The research tool was an anonymous questionnaire filled in by interviewers. Statistical data were processed and analysed with IBM SPSS 22.0. The study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of RSU. Results. 80 sexually active WLHIV participated in the study. 92.5% (n=74) were aware about condom use, 70% (n=56) were aware about at least one other effective contraception method. 61% (n=47) considered COCs, 55.8% (n=43) non-hormonal IUDs and 50.6% (n=39) hormonal IUDs being effective methods of contraception. 87.2% (n=68) women were currently using contraceptives. The most used method was male condoms (76.3%, n=61), followed by COCs (15%, n=12). A total 17.5% (n=14) of the users reported dual contraception. 52.5% (n=41) believed that COCs have a negative impact on women’s health. Some misconceptions that were expressed by women were that hormonal contraception may cause infertility (16.7%, n=13), weight gain (62.8%, n=49), hormonal contraception has a negative effect on HIV infection (14.1%, n=11) and increases the risk of oncological diseases (16.5%, n=13). Conclusions. The majority of the WLHIV were knowledgeable about methods of effective contraception. Despite the availability of different effective methods of contraception in Latvia, WLHIV preferred to use male condoms. The use of hormonal contraception by WLHIV was low. To improve family planning services and to achieve the reproductive needs of HIV-positive women, contraception counselling and access to a broad range of effective methods should be promoted by health care providers and policymakers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - May 2022
Event16th ESC (European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health) Congress: Challenging times, are we ready? Novel approaches to sexual and reproductive health - an in-person conference and sessions in live streaming, Ghent, Belgium
Duration: 25 May 202228 May 2022
Conference number: 16


Congress16th ESC (European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health) Congress
Abbreviated titleESCRH2022
Internet address


  • sexual and reproductive health
  • contraception
  • HIV

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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