Development of a Safer Conception Counseling Toolkit in Kenya: Stigma, Fears, and Recommendations for the Delivery of Services
By: Okeoma Mmeje,1 Betty Njoroge,2 Eliud Akama,2,3 Anna Leddy,4 Brooke Breitnauer,5 Lynae Darbes,6 Joelle Brown7
Reproduction is important to many HIV-affected individuals and couples. Healthcare providers are responsible for providing resources to help them safely conceive while minimizing risk of sexual and perinatal HIV transmission. In order to fulfill their reproductive goals, HIV-affected individuals and their partners need access to information regarding safer methods of conception.
We conducted a study in Kenya that helped us develop a Safer Conception Counseling Toolkit. The Toolkit contains materials for HIV-affected men and women who express a desire for children and for healthcare providers to support them in counseling HIV-affected individuals on their reproductive options. We conducted in-depth interviews and focus group discussions among healthcare providers and HIV-affected individuals and couples from eight HIV care and treatment sites in Kisumu, Kenya in order to develop our Toolkit. Interviews were conducted among providers who were trained using the Toolkit and focus group discussions were held among HIV-affected individuals and couples who were counseled with the Toolkit.
HIV-related stigma, fears, and recommendations for delivery of safer conception counseling were assessed during the discussions. Participants indicated that a safer conception counseling and training program for healthcare providers is needed and that routine provision of safer conception counseling may promote maternal and child health by enhancing reproductive autonomy among HIV-affected couples. They also reported that the Toolkit may help dispel stigma and fears associated with reproduction in HIV-affected couples while supporting them in achieving their reproductive goals.
Ultimately, we hope that these tools will enhance the level of knowledge and empowerment that HIV-affected individuals and healthcare providers have as they learn and impart information on safer reproductive strategies that may decrease the risk associated with reproduction in HIV-affected partnerships.
Safer Conception Counseling Toolkit Components:
- Healthcare provider training guide
- Healthcare provider counseling guide
- Preconception brochure – Male
- Preconception brochure – Female
You are welcome to download the materials to share with your colleagues, networks, clients, or to translate for use in different environments. The content is protected under the creative commons license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/. Please reference the Safer Conception Counseling Toolkit in your work. The full manuscript can be accessed at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09540121.2016.1153592
- University of Michigan, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Department of Health Behavior and Health Education
- Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Centre for Microbiology Research
- Family AIDS Care and Education Services (FACES)
- Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Health, Behavior and Society
- University of Colorado, School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
- University of California, San Francisco, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies and Global Health Sciences
- University of California, San Francisco, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science, and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Counseling guide for healthcare providers
Safer conception information brochure – female
Safer conception information brochure – male
Safer conception training guide for healthcare provider