BACKGROUND: There is growing recognition of the difficult reproductive decisions faced by HIV-positive women. Studies in both resource-constrained and developed countries have suggested that many HIV-positive women continue to desire children in spite of their understanding of the possible risks that HIV poses. This study investigates the factors associated with fertility desire among HIV-positive women in Tigray region, Ethiopia. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 964 HIV-positive women receiving HIV care in 12 health centers of Tigray region. In each health center, the number of study participants was allocated proportionally to the load of HIV-positive women in the chronic care clinics. A descriptive summary of the data and a logistic regression model were used to identify factors associated with fertility desire using odds ratios with a 95% confidence interval and P-value of 0.05. RESULTS: Four hundred and thirty nine (45.5%) of the participants reported a desire to have children in the future. Eighty six percent of the women had given birth to at least one live baby at the time of study, with the median number of live births being 2 (Inter quartile range = 1,3). Women in the age group of 15-24 years [AOR = 2.64(95% CI: 1.44, 4.83)] and 25-34 years [AOR = 2.37 (95% CI: 1.60, 2.4 3.50)] had higher fertility desire as compared to women in the age group of 35-49 years. Having no children [AOR = 25.76 (95% CI: 13.66, 48.56)], having one to two children [AOR = 5.14 (95% CI: 3.37, 7.84)] and disclosing HIV status to husband/sexual partner [AOR = 1.74 (95% CI: 1.11, 2.72)] were all independently associated with fertility desire. CONCLUSIONS: Age, HIV disclosure status to husband/sexual partner, and relatively few live children were all found to influence HIV-positive women's fertility desire. Programmers and policy makers should consider the effects of these factors for HIV-positive women as they develop HIV/AIDS interventions.
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