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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


PEREIRA, Marco  and  CANAVARRO, Maria Cristina. Adversity in pregnancy: A comparative study between HIV-Positive pregnant women and pregnant women without associated medical condition. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2010, vol.11, n.2, pp.179-197. ISSN 1645-0086.

In Portugal, about 25% of people living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are women. Because the majority of HIV­infected women are of reproductive age (about 75%), the issue of transition to motherhood is a matter of greater importance. In a sample of 47 HIV­pregnant women and 51 pregnant women without medical condition, the adaptation to pregnancy was assessed considering the following indicators: perceived stress, psychological symptoms, emotional reactivity, and quality of life. The results of the current study showed that HIV­infected women experienced more difficulties in adaptation to pregnancy. This group reported, comparatively to the pregnant women without associated medical risk, higher stress, more psychopathology, more negative emotional reactivity, and lower quality of life. Globally, the results of this study show a higher ambivalence in the adaptation to pregnancy among HIV­positive women. Among HIV­positive, women diagnosed during the current pregnancy report more adaptation difficulties. These findings may also have clinical implications for the psychological intervention of HIV­infected women. It is important for mental health professionals and other medical fields to know more about women’s psychological dynamics when involved in two very stressful concomitant situations: giving birth and possibility of an anticipated death.

Keywords : Adaptation; HIV infection; Pregnancy.

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