Women with HIV in the United States plan just a fifth of their pregnancies, aidsmap reports. Publishing their findings in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, investigators from the HIV and Obstetrics Pregnancy Education Study conducted cross-sectional research of HIV-positive women in care at 12 different sites during 2012.

The 172 adult women in the study had a median age of 28. Seventy-eight percent of them were black, and all of them knew they were living with the virus before conceiving.

A survey revealed that 19 percent of the women had planned their pregnancy, while 58 percent were ambivalent about the pregnancy and 23 percent had pregnancies that were unplanned. Fifty-two percent said they hadn't intended on becoming pregnant, and 54 percent reported that they did not want the baby.

Those who had had a previous pregnancy since being diagnosed with HIV were 33 percent less likely to have an unplanned or ambivalent pregnancy. Women who had seen a health care provider and those who had had initiated a pregnancy discussion with their provider were a respective 40 and 37 percent less likely to have an unplanned or ambivalent pregnancy.

The researchers stated that health care providers can help reduce the rate of unplanned or ambivalent pregnancies by both better engaging HIV-positive women in health care and also integrating discussions about pregnancy into their routine HIV care.

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