Awareness and acceptability of strategies for preventing mother to child transmission of HIV among antenatal clients in Calabar, Nigeria
Background: Mother to child transmission is the major route through which children below the age of 15 years acquire HIV infection. The most effective way to reduce childhood HIV infection is to prevent the infection in mothers and for already infected mothers use appropriate strategies to prevent transmission to their children. This study was conducted to determine the level of awareness and acceptability of strategies for preventing mother to child transmission of HIV. Method: Exploratory multi-centric descriptive study involving 400 antenatal attendees in Federal, State and a Private health facility was used. Interviewer-administered questionnaire was the tool for data collection. Result: Majority of the respondents (94.7%) were aware of transmission of HIV from an infected mother to her child. Respondents were more aware of the use of antiretroviral drugs in pregnancy (63.2%) than they were of avoiding breastfeeding (58.5%) and Cesarean delivery (22.8%) as strategies for preventing mother to child transmission. They were also more likely to accept the use of antiretroviral drugs (78.2%) than they would avoid breastfeeding (69.0%) and accept Cesarean delivery (38.0%) for preventing mother to child transmission of HIV. High educational status was significantly associated with a positive attitude to these strategies. Conclusion: There is need for more educational programs and social support to bridge the gap between the levels of awareness and acceptability of strategies for preventing mother to child transmission of HIV among the populace.
Nigerian Journal of Medicine Vol. 17 (1) 2008 pp. 29-32