Percentage of HIV infected women using a modern family planning method

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Percentage of HIV infected women using a modern family planning method
What it measures

This indicator is a subset of contraceptive prevalence rate, but focuses specifically on HIV-infected women to measure progress in Prong 2 (“prevent unwanted pregnancies among women living with HIV”) of the four prongs of PMTCT. Contraceptive prevalence rate serves as a proxy measure of access to reproductive health services that are essential for meeting many of the Millennium Development Goals, especially those related to child mortality, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, and gender equality.


All women, irrespective of HIV status, need services that can help them make informed reproductive decisions and provide them with contraceptive options, if and when they are desired. By enabling women living with HIV to prevent or delay pregnancy, access to these services could avert HIV infection in infants, reduce unintended exposure to maternal mortality risk and improve child survival.

Preventing unintended pregnancies in women living with HIV is a critical step towards reducing mother-to-child transmission and is a core component of the international standards for a comprehensive approach to PMTCT.


Number of HIV infected women aged 15-49 reporting the use of any method of modern family planning


Total number of HIV infected women aged 15-49


Numerator / Denominator

Method of measurement

Routine reporting registers can be used to indicate if HIV-infected women report the use of a modern family planning method. This question can also be included in population-based surveys, such as an AIDS Indicator Survey, or adaptations to Fertility and Family Surveys (FFS), Reproductive Health Surveys (RHS) and other surveys based on similar methodologies. The time frame used to assess contraceptive prevalence can also vary. In most surveys there is no definition of what is meant by “currently using” a method of contraception.

In some surveys, the lack of probing questions, asked to ensure that the respondent understands the meaning of the different contraceptive methods, can result in an underestimation of contraceptive prevalence, in particular for non-traditional methods. Sampling variability can also be an issue, especially when contraceptive prevalence is measured for a specific subgroup (according to method, age-group, level of educational attainment, place of residence, etc) or when analyzing trends over time.

Regional and global estimates of contraceptive prevalence rates are based on weighted averages, using the total number of women of reproductive age (15-49) who are married or in union. These estimates are presented only if available data cover at least 50% of total number of women of reproductive age (15-49) who are married or in union in the regional or global groupings.

Measurement frequency


Explanation of the numerator
Explanation of the denominator
Strengths and weaknesses
Further information

Contraceptive prevalence. Indicator and measurement registry. WHO: Geneva. Available at:
Taking stock of maternal, newborn, and child survival: 2000–2010 decade report annex. Geneva: WHO; 2010. Available from:

Unmet need for family planning. Indicator and measurement registry. WHO: Geneva. Available at:

Monitoring and Evaluating the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV: A guide for national programmes. Towards the Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission, 2011. Available at: