Determinants of subjective health status of HIV positive mothers in NAUTH Nnewi
AbstractBACKGROUND: Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) caused by human immune deficiency virus (HIV), once dominated by infected males has become feminized especially in sub-Saharan Africa where the majority of adults living with the condition are females. Positive life styles, belonging to social support groups and stigma-free HIV services by providers may have good impact on the quality of life of HIV-positive mothers. This study was aimed at assessing the determinants of subjective health status of HIV-positive mothers accessing prevention-of-mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT) of HIV services in Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) Nnewi.
METHODS: This is a descriptive study in which 288 consenting HIV positive mothers were selected using the systematic sampling technique. Data on demographics, life style, social support, contraceptive use and subjective feeling about current health status were collected from the subjects using a pre-tested, structured, interviewer-administered questionnaire.
RESULTS: The mean age of the respondents was 30.46+4.86 years. Majority (89.2%) of them were married while 55.2% were traders. A significantly higher proportion of the mothers on highly active anti retroviral therapy (HAART) (70.8%) than non users (29.2%) described their current health status as 'excellent' (p<0.001). Also a significantly higher proportion of condom users (99%) than pill users (1%) described their health status as 'excellent' (p<0.02). The same significantly higher proportions of 'excellent' response were given by subjects who engage in social support activities (p<0.001), who practice good feeding (p<0.01) and personal hygiene (p<0.01).
CONCLUSION: Access to family planning services and HAART, participation in support group activities and positive lifestyle practices tend to improve subjective health status and should be comprehensively encouraged among the HIV positive mothers.
KEY WORDS: Determinants, health status, HIV positive mothers.