Integrating Pregnancy Prevention Into an HIV Counseling and Testing Program in Pediatric Primary Care



      Certified health educator (CHE)-based HIV counseling and testing typically focus on HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention only. A quality improvement initiative examined integrating assessment of reproductive life plans, counseling about pregnancy prevention, and contraception referral into a CHE-based HIV testing program.


      Between February 2014 and January 2017, in one urban pediatric primary care clinic serving patients aged 0–25, CHEs assessed sexual history, HIV risk, short-term (i.e., the next 6–12 months) pregnancy desire, and current contraception method and satisfaction among patients aged 13–25 who had ever had vaginal sex, using a standardized questionnaire. Data were analyzed using a de-identified administrative dataset that also tracked referrals to initiate contraception and actual method initiation.


      Of 1,211 patients, most (96%) reported no short-term pregnancy or partner pregnancy desire. Use of less effective or no contraception, as well as method dissatisfaction, was common. A high proportion of female patients referred to new methods opted for more effective methods (62%) and initiated these methods (76%); a high proportion of male patients opted for receipt of condoms (67%). Patients reporting short-term pregnancy desire reported higher rates of previous pregnancy and STIs.


      Program findings highlight the potential benefit of integrating assessment for and counseling about pregnancy prevention in a CHE-based HIV testing program. This can more effectively address the needs of patients with concomitant risks of STI/HIV and unintended pregnancy, and link patients who do not desire pregnancy to more effective methods.


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