Knowledge and practice of HIV testing for PMTCT among antenatal clinic attendees
Background: Mother‑to‑child transmission (MTCT), is the main route of paediatric human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. While paediatric HIV has been virtually eliminated in most developed countries with structured interventions, many developing countries still record high transmission rates. Maternal knowledge on MTCT is a corner stone for effective implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation of the four‑pronged approach to reduce mother‑to‑child transmission of HIV.
Aims and Objectives: The study was carried out to assess the knowledge of prevention of mother‑to‑child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV among our pregnant women as well as their attitude and practice of HIV counselling and testing.
Methodology: The study population included pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at the State Specialist Hospital, Akure, Ondo State. It was an institutional based descriptive cross‑sectional study conducted over a period of one month (May 2018). Systematic random sampling technique was used to select 400 pregnant women. Data was obtained using structured pre‑tested questionnaire, and analysed using SPSS Windows 20.
Results: The study showed that majority were between 30‑39 years, were educated, and married. Among the respondents, 389 (97.3%) have heard about HIV while 11 (2.8%) have not heard about HIV. Overall 85.3% of the respondents had a good knowledge of HIV and its mode of transmission. Among the women, 83% were aware of mother‑to‑child‑transmission of HIV with the information mostly obtained from health workers. Only 252 (63.2%) had been tested for HIV in this pregnancy while 148 (36.8%) were not yet tested with many of them blaming this on lack of counsellors. On multivariable analysis, younger women were more knowledgeable about HIV and MTCT, those who were public servants and had partners educated to tertiary level were more likely to practice PMTCT.
Conclusion: The knowledge of HIV and PMTCT was high among the women. However, not all the women were tested for HIV in the index pregnancy as a result of lack of counsellors. Adequate counsellors are essential for effective PMTCT programme.
Keywords: Antenatal clinic; knowledge; HIV testing; prevention of mother-to-child transmission; practice; pregnant women