Prevention of mother -to-child transmission of HIV: kno wledge, attitudes and pr actice among pregnant women at Juba Teaching Hospital
Introduction: Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) accounts for 90% of infancy and childhood HIV infections; hence prevention has a big impact in controlling the spread of HIV within this group.
Objectives: To assess knowledge, attitude and practice of prevention of MTCT of HIV among pregnant women attending antenatal care at Juba Teaching Hospital, South Sudan.
Method: A hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted during November and December 2015. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire; frequency distribution and two-way tables were used to present and summarize the data. A p-value of <0.05 was considered as indicating statistical significance.
Results: Two hundred and fifty-one pregnant women consented to participate in the study and were enrolled and interviewed at the Maternal and Child Health Clinic (MCHC) in Juba Teaching Hospital. The mean age of the mothers was 25.67 years (range 15 – 41 years), with the standard deviation of ±5.52 years. The majority (88%) were married, 39.1% had no formal education, and 53.4% were unemployed. One-third (30.7%) of the participants had sufficient knowledge on when to start prophylaxis of MTCT (PMTCT). Half of the pregnant women (51%) showed positive attitudes toward PMTCT measures. Two hundred and thirty-one pregnant women (92%) had received counselling for HIV, with 78.4% of them reported being tested for HIV.
Conclusion: The pregnant women’s knowledge on HIV/AIDS, specific knowledge on MTCT, MTCT risk factors during breastfeeding, and PMTCT were found to be moderate. Half of the participants showed positive attitude towards PMTCT services utilization.
Key words: HIV, PMTCT, South Sudan