ZIKV-related ideations and modern contraceptive use: Cross-sectional evidence from the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Zika virus (ZIKV) can be sexually transmitted and can lead to severe neonatal and child health issues. The current study examines whether ZIKV-related ideational factors, including awareness of ZIKV and associated birth defects, are related to modern contraceptive use among women and men with sexual partners in four Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. Data used are from cross-sectional household surveys conducted in 2018 in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras with representative samples of men and women aged 18–49 (N = 1,100). The association between self-reported use of modern contraception and measures of Zika knowledge, risk perceptions and social norms, and contraceptive self-efficacy was examined via sex disaggregated multivariate logistic regression models. Both men (OR 3.70, 95% CI 1.36–10.06, P < 0.05) and women (OR 3.71, 95% CI 2.30–5.99, P < 0.0001), who reported discussing family planning with their partner in the last year were more likely to use modern contraception compared with those who did not. Contrary to our hypothesis, knowledge that ZIKV can affect a fetus was negatively associated with modern contraceptive use for women (OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.29–0.85, P < 0.05). Given the cross-sectional nature of the survey, women not using contraception may be more likely to remember that ZIKV can affect a fetus. In the event of a related outbreak, future health promotion and communication efforts in LAC should focus on known determinants of modern contraceptive use, such as knowledge and partner communication, and knowledge of the health effects of ZIKV if pregnant, to influence family planning decision-making behavior.






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