Dr. Elizabeth Kelvin, a professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy and colleagues worked to establish a prediction model of fertility intent among a sample of HIV-positive women and men in Cape Town, South Africa. The findings were published in the journal AIDS and Behavior.
With increased availability to antiretroviral drugs, many HIV-positive individual feel more assured that they can lead healthy, productive lives, including having children. The research team utilized a case-study approach to develop prediction models of fertility intent. They used
data collected from recently diagnosed HIV-positive women (N = 69) and men (N = 55) who reported inconsistent condom use and were enrolled in a sexual and reproductive health intervention in public sector HIV care clinics in Cape Town, South Africa.
Independent variable included demographic characteristics, health status, sexual partners and practices, disclosure of HIV status to main partner, reproductive history over the past three months, and intervention condition. Participants were asked about fertility intent, not specifically about which partner. Three theoretically-driven prediction models showed reasonable sensitivity, specificity, and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for predicting fertility intent at the 6-month visit.
The primary purpose of this study was to highlight the need for developing and testing prediction models to estimate the probability of future fertility intent among HIV-positive individuals, and to provide a methodological approach for establishing a prediction model and evaluating its ability to correctly discriminate. The research team concluded that it is important that fertility planning be an integral part of comprehensive care for HIV-positive individuals.