HIV prevalence and trends among pregnant women in Abuja, Nigeria: a 5-year analysis
Background: In the last decade there had been efforts to halt and reverse the high and increasing trends in HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa. There is need to analyze trends in HIV prevalence to ascertain the current course of the HIV epidemic in our society. HIV prevalence among pregnant women attending Antenatal Clinics remains the principal data source to inform trends in generalized epidemics in developing countries.
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of HIV and its trends among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at a public tertiary hospital in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria.
Methods: Data of pregnant women who had HIV test as part of antenatal care between January 2005 and December 2009 were prospectively recorded and analyzed to determine the period HIV prevalence and trends.
Results: For the five year period, there was 95% uptake of HIV testing, and out of 8,443 pregnant women tested, 973 were sero-positive, giving a period prevalence of 11.5% (CI;10.9%-12.2%). In 2005 HIV prevalence was 4.5%, rose to 11.2% in 2006 and peaked at 15.4% in 2009. This trend was statistically significant (χ2-trend=94.1; p<0.001). There was an inverse trend with maternal age with a higher prevalence among younger mothers (15-24 years) compared to older cohorts (30-49 years). This decreasing trend with maternal age was also statistically significant (χ2- trend=5.28; p=0.022). Although HIV prevalence was slightly higher among women with higher parity, this trend was not statistically significant (χ2-trend=0.73; p=0.39). HIV prevalence was significantly higher in women in lower social class 1-4, compared with those in higher social class 5 and 6 (χ2- trend=148.7; p<0.0001).
Conclusion: The HIV prevalence among pregnant women is high and showed an increasing trend over the five year period. It is an indication of ineffectiveness of measures taken to arrest the scourge over time. This has implication for obstetrics practice and may translate to increase in pediatrics HIV/AIDS if adequate measures are not taken to prevent mother-to-child transmission.
Key Words: HIV, Prevalence, Pregnant women, Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, Nigeria.