Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of HIV-Positive People in Tehran, Iran: A Mixed-Method Descriptive Study

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 School of Public Health and Institute of Public Health Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Non-Communicable Diseases Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Population Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinical Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Obstetrics and Gynecologist, Shahid Beheshti Hospital, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

5 Department of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, Nursing and Midwifery School, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

6 Department of Maternal and Child Health, Nursing and Midwifery School, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

7 Regional Support Team for the Middle East and North Africa (RST-MENA), Cairo, Egypt

8 Iranian Research Center for HIV and AIDS, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

9 Centre for Infectious Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Background
People Living with HIV (PLHIV) are highly stigmatized and consequently hard-to-access by researchers and importantly, public health outreach in Iran, possibly due to the existing socio-cultural situation in this country. The present study aimed to evaluate the sexual and reproductive health needs of PLHIV in Tehran, the capital of Iran.
 
Methods
As a mixed-method descriptive study, this project was conducted in 2012 in Tehran, Iran. In this study, we evaluated and discussed socio-demographic characteristics, family and social support, sexual behaviors, fertility desires and needs, PMTCT services, contraceptive methods, unintended pregnancy and safe abortion, and Pap smear tests among 400 participants referring to the behavioral disorders consulting centers.
 
Results
Of the sample 240 (60%) were male and 160 (40%) were female. About 50% of women and 40% of men were 25-34 years old. More than 60% of men and 96% of women were married, while more than 50% of the participants had HIV-positive spouses at the time of study. According to the results, fertility desire was observed among more than 30% of female and 40% of male participants. Results of the in-depth interviews indicate that the participants are not satisfied with most of the existing services offered to address their sexual and reproductive health needs.
 
Conclusion
Despite the availability of services, most of sexual and reproductive health needs of the PLHIV are overlooked by the health system in Iran. Paying attention to sexual and reproductive health needs of PLHIV in Iran not only protects their right to live long and healthy lives, but also may prevent the transmission of HIV from the patients to others within the community.

Keywords

Main Subjects


 

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