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Nigerian Journal of Medicine

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Awareness of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection among antenatal clients in Nnewi Nigeria

CI Okafor, VO Dinwoke, GO Udigwe

Abstract


Objective: To determine the level of awareness of Human  Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection among antenatal clients in Nnewi Nigeria.
Subjects and Methods: A cross sectional descriptive study of six hundred consecutive antenatal clients attending the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital and five private specialist hospitals (run by Consultant Obstetricians) in Nnewi was conducted over a six-month period (1st September 2008 -28th February 2009). Anonymous, structured, pretested questionnaire designed to assess the awareness of HIV infection was used.
Results: The mean age of all the 600 clients was 31.4 (SD 2.8) years, majority were married (94%) and in the third trimester of pregnancy (69%). Most (58%) attended secondary school while 0.83% had no formal education. Only 2% had complete knowledge of the modes of HIV  transmission while majority (96.5%) had partial knowledge. There was a statistically significant relationship between level of education and  knowledge of HIV (p<0.00001). HIV test was done on 419(69.84%); 37 tested positive giving a seroprevalence rate of 8.83%. Among those tested, only 51.55% had counseling before testing.
Conclusion: This study showed that the knowledge of HIV among women of child bearing age and the practice of voluntary counseling and testing are still poor in our environment. Improved public enlightenment and training of health workers are urgently needed.

Key words: Antenatal, HIV, awareness, Counseling and Testing.




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