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      Utilization of PMTCT services and associated factors among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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          Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) remains the major source of HIV infection in young children. Targeting pregnant women attending antenatal clinics provide a unique opportunity for implementing prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programmes against HIV infection of newborn babies. This study aimed to investigate factors associated with the acceptability and utilization of PMTCT of HIV.


          An institution based cross-sectional study was conducted in April 2010 using exit interviews with 843 pregnant women attending antenatal care (ANC) clinics of 10 health centers and two hospitals in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Trained nurses administered structured questionnaires to collect data on socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge about MTCT, practice of HIV testing and satisfaction with the antenatal care services. Six focus group discussions among pregnant women and 22 in-depth interviews with service providers complemented the quantitative data.


          About 94% of the pregnant women visited the health facility for ANC check-up. Only 18% and 9% of respondents attended the facility for HIV counselling and testing (HCT) and receiving antiretroviral prophylaxis, respectively. About 90% knew that a mother with HIV can pass the virus to her child, and MTCT through breast milk was commonly cited by most women (72.4%) than transmission during pregnancy (49.7%) or delivery (49.5%). About 94% of them reported that they were tested for HIV in the current pregnancy and 60% replied that their partners were also tested for HIV. About 80% of the respondents reported adequacy of privacy and confidentiality during counseling (90.8% at hospitals and 78.6% at health centers), but 16% wished to have a different counselor. Absence of counselors, poor counselling, lack of awareness and knowledge about HCT, lack of interest and psychological unpreparedness were the main reasons cited for not undergoing HIV testing during the current pregnancy.


          HIV testing among ANC attendees and knowledge about MTCT of HIV was quite high. Efforts should be made to improve the quality and coverage of HCT services and mitigate the barriers preventing mothers from seeking HIV testing. Further research should be conducted to evaluate the uptake of antiretroviral prophylaxis among HIV-positive pregnant women attending ANC clinics.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-328) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 36

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          Rates, barriers and outcomes of HIV serostatus disclosure among women in developing countries: implications for prevention of mother-to-child transmission programmes.

          This paper synthesizes the rates, barriers, and outcomes of HIV serostatus disclosure among women in developing countries. We identified 17 studies from peer-reviewed journals and international conference abstracts--15 from sub-Saharan Africa and 2 from south-east Asia--that included information on either the rates, barriers or outcomes of HIV serostatus disclosure among women in developing countries. The rates of disclosure reported in these studies ranged from 16.7% to 86%, with women attending free-standing voluntary HIV testing and counselling clinics more likely to disclose their HIV status to their sexual partners than women who were tested in the context of their antenatal care. Barriers to disclosure identified by the women included fear of accusations of infidelity, abandonment, discrimination and violence. Between 3.5% and 14.6% of women reported experiencing a violent reaction from a partner following disclosure. The low rates of HIV serostatus disclosure reported among women in antenatal settings have several implications for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (pMTCT) programmes as the optimal uptake and adherence to such programmes is difficult for women whose partners are either unaware or not supportive of their participation. This article discusses these implications and offers some strategies for safely increasing the rates of HIV status disclosure among women.
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            The prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission programme in Lilongwe, Malawi: why do so many women drop out.

            Mother-to-child transmission of HIV constitutes a substantial burden of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa, and losses to follow-up continue to undermine prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programmes. This qualitative study sought to clarify why some women who were enrolled in a PMTCT programme in Lilongwe, Malawi, did not fully participate in follow-up visits in the first six months after testing HIV-positive. Twenty-eight women, 14 who participated fully in the programme and 14 who dropped out, were purposively selected for in-depth interview at two clinics. Focus group discussions with 15 previously interviewed and 13 newly recruited women were also conducted. Discussions with 12 of the women's husbands were also carried out. Although the proportion of women being tested has reportedly increased, losses to follow-up have shifted and are occurring at every step after testing. Major emerging themes associated with dropping out of the PMTCT programme within six months after delivery were to avoid involuntary HIV disclosure and negative community reactions, unequal gender relations, difficulties accessing care and treatment, and lack of support from husbands. The whole approach to the delivery of the PMTCT programme and home visits must be reconsidered, to improve confidentiality and minimise stigmatization. Women need to be empowered economically and supported to access HIV treatment and care with their partners, to benefit their whole family.
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              Routine offer of antenatal HIV testing ("opt-out" approach) to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV in urban Zimbabwe.

              To assess the impact of routine antenatal HIV testing for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in urban Zimbabwe. Community counsellors were trained in routine HIV testing policy using a specific training module from June 2005 through November 2005. Key outcomes during the first 6 months of routine testing were compared with the prior 6-month "opt-in" period, and clients were interviewed. Of the 4551 women presenting for antenatal care during the first 6 months of routine HIV testing, 4547 (99.9%) were tested for HIV compared with 3058 (65%) of 4700 women during the last 6 months of the opt-in testing (P < 0.001), with a corresponding increase in the numbers of HIV-infected women identified antenatally (926 compared with 513, P < 0.001). During routine testing, more HIV-infected women collected results compared to the opt-in testing (908 compared with 487, P < 0.001) resulting in a significant increase in deliveries by HIV-infected women (256 compared with 186, P = 0.001); more mother/infant pairs received antiretroviral prophylaxis (n = 256) compared to the opt-in testing (n = 185); and more mother/infant pairs followed up at clinics (105 compared with 49, P = 0.002). Women were satisfied with counselling services and most (89%) stated that offering routine testing is helpful. HIV-infected women reported low levels of spousal abuse and other adverse social consequences. Routine antenatal HIV testing should be implemented at all sites in Zimbabwe to maximize the public health impact of PMTCT.

                Author and article information

                BMC Pregnancy Childbirth
                BMC Pregnancy Childbirth
                BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
                BioMed Central (London )
                19 September 2014
                19 September 2014
                : 14
                : 1
                [ ]School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
                [ ]College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia
                [ ]Addis Ababa City Administration Health Bureau, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
                © Deressa et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

                This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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