A qualitative study exploring attitudes and perceptions of HIV positive women who stopped breastfeeding at six months to prevent transmission of HIV to their children

  • R Mataya
  • D Mathanga
  • J Chinkhumba
  • A Chibwana
  • K Chikaphupha
  • J Cardiello

Abstract

Aim
The study explored knowledge, attitudes and practices of HIV positive women who were instructed to stop breastfeeding at 6 months to prevent the transmission of HIV to their children.
Methods
We used qualitative methods consisting of key informant interviews (KII), critical incidence narratives (CINs), focus group discussions (FGDs) and observations for data collection. The subjects were recruited at regular PMTCT clinics after consenting to participate in the study.
Results
Some women had a fair understanding of exclusive breastfeeding and its role in preventing the transmission of HIV from the mother to the child. However, uptake of services and adherence to exclusive breast feeding (EBF) were hindered by social stigma, discrimination, misconceptions, and fear of rejection by spouses.
Conclusion
Addressing social stigma, discrimination, misconceptions and male involvement should be part and parcel of PMTCT programming in order to ensure success. The recent introduction of option B+, in which all pregnant HIV positive women will be started on anti-retroviral treatment, regardless of their CD4 cell count, will perhaps encourage women to adhere to EBF and weaning at six months.
Published
2013-04-16
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1995-7262
print ISSN: 1995-7262