Toronto Metropolitan University

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The importance of motherhood in HIV-positive women of reproductive age in Ontario, Canada

journal contribution
posted on 2024-04-04, 16:42 authored by V. Logan Kennedy, Lena Serghides, Janet M. Raboud, DeSheng Su, Sandra L. Blitz, Trevor HartTrevor Hart, Sharon L. Walmsley, Jonathan B. Angel, Fiona M. Smaill, Edward D. Ralph, Wangari E. Tharao, Mona R. Loutfy, the Ontario HIV Fertility Research Team

Motherhood is personally, culturally, and historically rooted. Recent publications have focused on medical issues related to pregnancy and HIV, with attention on fetal well-being. There is limited literature on the importance of motherhood for HIV-positive women. Our study's purpose was to investigate the importance of motherhood among HIV-positive women of reproductive age in Ontario, Canada and to analyze the correlates thereof. We present our findings using a secondary analysis of cross-sectionally collected data from a study assessing fertility desires and intentions of HIV-positive women. The sub-analysis's outcome of interest was based on the question: "Being a mother is important to me" with a 5-point Likert scale that was dichotomized into strongly agree/agree vs. neutral/disagree/strongly disagree. Logistic regression models were fit to calculate unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for significant correlates. Of the 497 respondents, median age was 38 (interquartile range [IQR] 32-43), 46% were African, 74% had given birth, and 57% intended to give birth. A total of 452 (91%) agreed (N = 75) or strongly agreed (N = 377) that being a mother was important to them. Age less than 40 years (OR 3.0; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6-5.7, African ethnicity (OR 9.2; 95% CI 3.2-26.3), immigration within 10 years (OR 19.6, 95% CI 4.6-83.1), and partner or family desire for a pregnancy (OR 3.3; 95% CI 1.5-7.3) were significant correlates of the importance of motherhood in a univariate analysis. Importance of motherhood was associated with desire (OR 6.2, 95% CI 3.1-12.3) and intention to give birth (OR 6.9, 95% CI 3.1-15.2), and previous birth (OR 8.5, 95% CI 4.2-16.8). In the multivariable model, the significant correlates were of age less than 40 years (OR 3.9; 95% CI 1.8-8.4), immigration within 10 years (OR 14.1; 95% CI 3.2-61.5), and having previously given birth (OR 11.2; 95% CI 5.1-24.4). The majority of women felt strongly that motherhood was important to them particularly among younger women, recent immigrants, and women who were mothers.




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