Prevalence and factors influencing modern contraceptive use among HIV-positive women in Kilimanjaro region, northern Tanzania

Damian J. Damian, Johnston M. George, Erick Martin, Beatrice Temba and Sia E. Msuya
Publication year: 


Mother-to-Child-Transmission (MTCT) of HIV is still a public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa. The region has a high unmet need for family planning and high unplanned pregnancy rates among HIV-positive women. Most efforts to prevent MTCT of HIV have focused on the third prong, a strategy which offers antiretroviral (ARV) drugs to HIV-infected pregnant women and their exposed infants. However, the effective use of contraceptives to prevent unplanned pregnancies among women living with HIV is more effective in reducing HIV MTCT. This study aimed at determining the prevalence and factors influencing modern contraceptive use among HIV-positive women in northern Tanzania.


This was a cross-sectional study conducted between January and June 2014 in three selected districts of Kilimanjaro region, Tanzania. Data were collected during face-to-face interviews with HIV-positive women attending Care and Treatment Clinics (CTC) in the selected districts. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine independent predictors of modern contraceptive use.


In total 672 HIV-positive women were enrolled. Their mean age was 36.4 years (±7.7). Fifty four percent (362) were currently using modern contraceptives, and the most common method used was male condoms 76% (275) followed by Depo-Provera 28% (101). A total of 33% (121) of the users reported dual contraceptive use. Women with primary education [Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) = 7.54, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.51–17.48, P = 0.014]; post-secondary [AOR = 6.23, 95% CI: 1.14–14.07, P = 0.035]; not currently on ARVs [AOR = 11.29, 95% CI: 2.60–19.94, P = 0.001]; currently sexually active [AOR = 8.40, 95% CI: 4.47–15.78, P < 0.001]; ever discussed contraceptive use with partner [AOR = 3.68, 95% CI: 1.67–8.11, P = 0.001]; and being counseled on dual contraceptive use at CTC [AOR = 2.94, 95% CI: 1.66–5.23, P < 0.001]; had significantly higher odds of currently using modern contraceptive methods.


Given the population studied, the prevalence of modern contraceptive use was low. Strategies are required to increase the use of dual and long-term contraceptive methods among women who do not want more children in order to reduce MTCT, and to improve maternal and child health in the region. Programme managers and health care providers need to identify counseling strategies that are specific to HIV-positive women that not only impart knowledge on contraceptives, but also address the issue of responsibility for influencing HIV transmission in the community.