Socio-Demographic and Behavioral Factors Associated with the Desire to Procreate Among Patients Living with HIV in Gabon

Madeleine Okome-Nkoumou§, 1, Vincent Guiyedi*, 1, 2, §, Arnaud Dzeing-Ella 1, 2, 3, Yvonne Komba-Boussaga 1, Nora Efire-Emagha 1, Mireille Patricia Menguet-Abessolo 1, Brice Ongali 2, Marie-Yvonne Akoume 2, Emmanuel Bissagnene 4
1 Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Libreville Faculty of Medicine, Health Sciences University, Libreville, Gabon
2 Service of Internal Medicine-Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Albert Schweitzer University Hospital Center of Lambaréné, Gabon
3 Service of Internal Medicine-Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Valenciennes Hospital Center, France
4 Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, University Hospital of Treichville, Côte d’Ivoire

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© Okome-Nkoumou et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Libreville Faculty of Medicine, University of Health Sciences, Libreville, BP: 861, Gabon; Tel: (241) 07 59 32 12; E-mail:
§ These authors contributed equally to the preparation of this manuscript.


The desire to procreate in patients living with HIV (PLHIV) has been seldom investigated in Africa, particularly in Gabon. The aim of this transversal and descriptive study was to analyze the socio-demographic and behavioral factors associated with a desire to have children in a cohort of PLHIV. The study included 442 patients, predominantly females [79.9% (337/422)], and those with a secondary school education [64.2% 271/422)]. The highest prevalence of HIV was found in patients aged 30-39 years old (44.3%), of which 59% (249/422) were unemployed. The desire to have children was noted in 78% (329/422) of patients, of which 82.4% (271/329) were treated with antiretroviral drugs; this was significantly higher in subjects under 40 years versus those over 40 years old [81% (268/329) versus 19% (61/329), p<0.001]. Sero-discordant couples represented 33.4% (110/329) of patients. The frequency of patients with the desire to have a child was significantly higher when patients wanted to hold the status of parent of a child [77% (255/329) versus 23% (74/329), p<0.001]; this was influenced by the partner's desire [60% 197/329 versus 40% (132/329), p< 0.001], as well as by the absence of weight loss [56% (185/329) versus 44% (144/329), p<0.001]. The average number of children was significantly lower in patients with the desire to procreate compared to those with no desire to have children [1.7 versus 3.2, p<0.001]. These first observations in Gabon highlight the importance of the desire to have children in PLHIV and sero-discordant couples, and they show the level of interest in developing assistance methods for procreation and family planning programs to help this population, as well as to reduce the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission.

Keywords: Behavior, fertility desire, Gabon, HIV, sero-discordant couples, socio-demographic..