HIV/AIDS awareness among pregnant women in a rural Nigerian hospital

  • EA Etukumana
  • TD Thacher
  • AS Sagay
Keywords: HIV, Africa, awareness, pregnancy


Background: Pregnant women's awareness of HIV infection encourages voluntary counseling and testing, an important step in preventing mother to child transmission. We sought to determine the level of HIV/AIDS
awareness among pregnant women attending a rural hospital in Nigeria.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional descriptive study of pregnant women attending antenatal clinic of a rural mission hospital in northern Nigeria between June and October 2005. Pregnant women were assessed
regarding HIV/AIDS awareness before voluntary counseling.
Results: We enrolled 350 pregnant women with a mean age (±SD) of 26.8± 6.4years. Nearly all had heard of HIV/AIDS (98.6%, 95%CI=96.5-99.5%) and 79.7% (75.1-83.8%) thought they could have HIV/AIDS. A total of 335(96%, 92.9-97-5%) knew that HIV/AIDS could be transferred from mother to child and 89.7% (86.0-92.7%) knew that mother to child transmission could be prevented. None of the pregnant women knew their HIV status while few (15%) knew the HIV status of their partners.
Conclusion: HIV/AIDS awareness in pregnant women attending antenatal clinic in rural Nigeria was high. Therefore, pregnant women in rural settings would readily accept voluntary counseling and testing of HIV infection if such service is extended to them.

Key words: HIV, Africa, awareness, pregnancy


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eISSN: 0189-5117