Sexual life and contraception in people living with HIV

Abstract

As people living with HIV (PLH) are living longer and healthier lives in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy, common reproductive health issues are becoming more important. According to WHO, PLH should be offered routine counselling on sexual and reproductive health, so that they can implement informed, healthy, and appropriate decisions. PLH need special attention with regard to the use of contraceptive methods that provide dual protection against HIV/sexually transmitted infection transmission and unintended pregnancies. This article includes literature review on sexual life and contraception in the context of HIV infection including barrier methods, natural methods, sterilization, hormonal contraception, intrauterine device, spermicides/ microbicides and emergency contraception. To date, there is no perfect method that provides both protection against HIV transmission and unintended pregnancy. Although male condom remains the principal contraceptive method, its male-controlled usage is its most important obstacle. This article describes the pros and cons of each method for PLH as well as the interaction between hormonal contraceptives and antiretroviral drugs. Many questions remain to be answered. It is therefore important that studies of different methods of contraception in PLH continue.

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