Knowledge, attitude and prevalence of HIV and other STIs among women attending maternal child health clinic at the Bahati District Hospital
Background: The HIV/AIDS pandemic and associated complications have continued to pose a major public health challenge. Millennium Development Goal number 6 aims at, among other targets, halting and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015. The predominant mode of transmission for both HIV and other STIs is sexual intercourse. Methods for preventing sexual transmission of HIV and other STIs are the same, as are the target audiences for interventions. To fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic requires a multifaceted effort that includes continuous assessment of knowledge, attitude and practices among communities.
Objective: This study was conducted to assess the knowledge and attitude on HIV/AIDS and other STIs and to assess the prevalence rates among women attending clinic at the Bahati District Hospital.
Methods: This was a prospective cross-sectional study of 206 women attending the Maternal Child Health and family planning clinic at the Bahati District Hospital between 10th May and 10th July, 2010. Data on social demographic characteristics, reproductive history and knowledge and attitude regarding HIV/AIDS and other STIs was collected.
Results: The women had a mean age of 28 years (range 15-53 years). Most women (56.8%) had attained primary education followed by secondary education (35.9%) indicating an appreciable level of being knowledgeable enough to understand issues related to HIV/AIDS and other STIs. Most of the women (89.3%) were married and 6.3% were single. Of the 206 clients interviewed more than 90% of them had not only heard about HIV/AIDS but they also indicated they knew how transmission occurred. About 89% knew that HIV/AIDS could be transmitted from mother to child and indicated how this would happen. Only 61(29.6%) women would disclose if they were HIV – positive. Those with secondary school education had better knowledge on HIV/AIDS and other STIs than those with primary education. The prevalence of STIs was 18.7% and that of HIV was 5.1%.
Conclusions: There was a knowledge gap in associating STIS to HIV/AIDS although the clients were otherwise well informed. The women were fairly informed on mother to child transmission (MTCT) of HIV and measures to reduce the transmission. Stigmatization and fear of the partner deterred disclosure ofthe HIV status. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS compared to the national status was, however, low.
Key words: Bahati District Hospital, MCH/FP Clinic, HIV/AIDS and other STIs
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