Exclusive breastfeeding and HIV/AIDS: a crossectional survey of mothers attending prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV clinics in southwestern Nigeria
Introduction: Prevention of Mother-To-Child-Transmission (PMTCT) of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) guideline recommends replacement feeding where it is acceptable, feasible, affordable, sustainable and safe. Where this is un-achievable, exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) is recommended during the first six months of life. Methods: A hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 600 HIV-positive using a two-stage sampling technique. Data on socio-demographics, infant feeding choice and factors influencing these choices were collected using semistructured questionnaires. Results: Majority of the mothers (86.0%) were married and aged 31.0 ± 5.7years. Slightly above half (53.0%) hadA2 children and more than two-third had disclosed their HIV status to their spouses. About two-third (61.0%) were traders with 75.0% earning monthly income AN5,000.00k. Half of the mothers had C4 antenatal care visits and 85.0% had infant feeding counselling. Infant feeding choices among the mothers were EBF (61.0%), ERF (26.0%) and MF (13.0%). The choice of EBF was influenced by spouse influence (84.0%), family influence (81.0%) and fear of stigmatisation (53.0%). Predictors of EBF were; monthly income (AOR = 2.6, C.I. =1.4-4.5), infant feeding counselling (AOR = 2.7, C.I. = 1.6-6.9) and fear of stigmatisation (AOR = 7. 2, C.I. = 2.1-23.6). Conclusion: HIV positive mothers are faced with multiple challenges as they strive to practice exclusive breastfeeding. More extensive and comprehensive approach of infant feeding counseling with emphasis on behavioural change programmes in the context of HIV/AIDS within communities is advocated.
Key words: Mother-to-child transmission, exclusive breastfeeding, HIV clinics