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South African couples living with HIV are missing out on safer conception advice
Laura Lopez Gonzalez, 2013-07-11 09:50:00

Clinicians and counsellors may understand the right of people living with HIV to have children, but that doesn’t always mean they agree with their choices, according to new research that shows health workers may not be prepared to offer patients and couples living with HIV the best counselling on conception.

Research conducted among 25 doctors, nurses and counsellors at two antiretroviral (ARV) clinics in greater Durban, South Africa, has found that although clinicians and counsellors recognised HIV-positive people's reproductive rights, health workers are not proactively engaging with patients on reproductive health needs and tended to moralise about the choice to have children, for a wide range of reasons. According to Deborah Mindry of the University of California Los Angeles’ Centre for Culture and Health, her study’s results point to a need for training for service providers and more research into safer conception options for resource-poor settings.