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Interface - Comunicação, Saúde, Educação

On-line version ISSN 1807-5762


KNAUTH, Daniela Riva et al. Medical culture and reproductive decisions among women infected with Aids. Interface (Botucatu) [online]. 2002, vol.6, n.11, pp.39-54. ISSN 1807-5762.

HIV+ pregnant women face a range of medical information, prescriptions and practices that transform this period into a unique situation relative to previous pregnancies and experiences. This article tries to show which are the factors that affect HIV+ pregnant women's reproductive choices, especially as regards type of delivery and the decision on feminine sterilization adopted, as well as their implications. We present data from a study of 60 women, interviewed in the cities of São Paulo and Porto Alegre. Testing positively for AIDS changes a woman's perception of childbirth, so that it becomes a medical prescription; her preferences take second place. Furthermore, the type of health service in which these women receive prenatal care appears to be a crucial factor, both as regards the type of delivery the woman desires and concerning whether she realizes her preference or not. The fact that these women feel that their childbirth preferences are determined by medical prescription, being therefore largely independent of their "real" desires or previous experiences, cause many women to view the HIV+ positive birth experience as more difficult than previous deliveries or worse than was expected.

Keywords : Contraceptive behavior; reproductive medicine; Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; delivery.

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