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Reproductive Decision-Making Among HIV-Positive Couples in Taiwan

Authors

  • Nai-Ying Ko,

    1. Nai-Ying Ko, RN, PhD, Lambda Beta-at-Large, Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan. Marjorie Muecke, RN, PhD, FAAN, Psi-at-Large, Professor, Department of Psychosocial & Community Health Systems, School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle. This study was funded by the Hester McLaws Nursing Scholarship from the University of Washington, School of Nursing. The authors express appreciation to the couples that participated in this study. Correspondence to Dr. Ko, Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, No.1, Ta-Hsueh Road, Tainan 701, Taiwan. E-mail: nyko@mail.ncku.edu.tw
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  • Marjorie Muecke

    1. Nai-Ying Ko, RN, PhD, Lambda Beta-at-Large, Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan. Marjorie Muecke, RN, PhD, FAAN, Psi-at-Large, Professor, Department of Psychosocial & Community Health Systems, School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle. This study was funded by the Hester McLaws Nursing Scholarship from the University of Washington, School of Nursing. The authors express appreciation to the couples that participated in this study. Correspondence to Dr. Ko, Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, No.1, Ta-Hsueh Road, Tainan 701, Taiwan. E-mail: nyko@mail.ncku.edu.tw
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Abstract

Purpose:To explore the gender-based power relationships and social and cultural influences on reproductive decision-making processes among HIV-positive couples in Taiwan.

Methods:The study sample consisted of 14 HIV-positive couples in southern Taiwan. Data were analyzed using feminist ethnography to explore reproductive decisions made by these couples within the context of Taiwanese society.

Findings:Self-knowledge of HIV status had a limited influence on decisions about childbearing. More important was the Confucian values of filial piety and familial obligation, a powerful norm that still dictates procreation decisions in Taiwan. The process by which the couples made reproductive decisions consisted of four stages: initial reproductive decisions between partners, their search for information, their encounters with medical systems, and their weighing risks and benefits. Male and female partners expressed different concerns, and gender-based power relationships were exercised during the decision-making process.

Conclusions:HIV status was not the sole determinant of reproductive decisions made by HIV-positive couples. Rather, the Confucian value of filial piety drove the couples' reproductive decisions.

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