Dried Blood spot test for HIV exposed infants and children and their Anti-Retro Viral treatment status in selected hospitals in Ethiopia
BACKGROUND: Infants and children living with HIV receive antiretroviral treatment often late, are exposed to opportunistic infection and quickly develop AIDS. Few hospitals are providing ART service after Dried Blood Spot (DBS)test.The objective of this study is to assess the status of infants and children linked to ART.
METHODS: Descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in hospitals. Data of 138 infants and children exposed to HIV were collected from registration books and data bases from 2009 to 2011. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 16. Chi-squared test and p-value were computed. In-depth interviews were conducted with key informants.
RESULT: Ninety-eight (71%) infants and children exposed to HIV were diagnosed for HIV infection of which 68(69.4%) initiated ART. Twenty four (35.3%) initiated ART one month after HIV screening results. Thirty-three (50.0%) and 23(35.3%) infants and children dropped from and adhered to ART respectively. Eleven (16.2%) of them who initiated ART died within the study period. HIV infection status (p-value=0.003), dropping from ART (p-value=0.002) and death after ART initiation (p-value=0.010) showed significance with mothers’ PMTCT service status.
CONCLUSION: Seven in ten HIV-exposed infants and children were diagnosed with HIV, and almost all of them initiated ART. The overall turnaround time was 10 days. Based up on mothers’ PMTCT service status, there was a significant difference among HIV-exposed infants and children in acquiring HIV infection from mothers during pregnancy (p-value=0.003) and dropping from ART (p-value=0.010). There were challenges in sample collection and transportation. Early HIV screening during pregnancy and PMTCT service should be strengthened.
KEYWORDS: Dried Blood Spot, HIV-exposed infants and children, ART treatment status