HIV/AIDS and infant feeding options: A qualitative study on mothers living with HIV/AIDS in Oyo state, Nigeria, 2014
Introduction: Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV is responsible for more than 90.0% of HIV infections in children, and breastfeeding is one of the common routes of transmission. This study therefore determined factors influencing infant feeding choices of HIV positive mothers enrolled in Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission HIV clinics in Oyo State.
Methods: Four Focus Group Discussion (FGDs) sessions were conducted among forty HIV positive mothers with babies between the ages of 6weeks and one year with the aid of an FGD guide. Data was analysed using thematic approach. Findings: More than one –third of the mothers (37.5%) were between the ages of 25-29 years. More than half of the mothers (52.5%) were married in polygamous relationships and almost half of them (47.5 %) completed primary school education. Majority were traders/artisan, two third of them were earning less than ₦18000 per month. Majority of the mothers had good knowledge of infant feeding options in the context of HIV. Majority of the mothers claimed to be practicing exclusive breast feeding due to their low economic status. Fear of disclosure of HIV status and stigma has also weakened the ability of mothers to resist family pressure that encourages mixed feeding practices. Women who chose to exclusively formula feed were the civil servants who were financially capable.
Conclusion: Although a high proportion of mothers practiced exclusive breastfeeding, mixed feeding is still being practiced due to family pressure. Family members’ education on safer infant feeding practices and behavioural change programmes in the context of HIV is advocated.
Keywords: Infant food; Breast feeding; HIV infections/transmission