Background. Despite the benefits of zidovudine (ZDV) therapy in preventing perinatal transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV-infected women may not accept or adhere to therapy. Methods. This descriptive study identified factors in 322 HIV-infected women that influence intention to take ZDV if becoming pregnant and to give it to their newborns. Results. Logistic regression analysis showed the likelihood of taking ZDV in pregnancy and giving it to newborns was greater in women who believed ZDV slowed disease progression, ZDV was effective in preventing perinatal transmission, and their primary health care provider (PHCP) was positive about ZDV therapy. Additionally, women who were sexually active and had been pregnant since HIV diagnosis were more likely to intend to give ZDV to newborns. Conclusions. Positive beliefs concerning ZDV effectiveness and the perception that their PHCP has a positive view of ZDV therapy during pregnancy are significant factors in women's ZDV-related decisions.
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