Voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) for Human Immunodeficiency Virus: a study on acceptability by Nigerian women attending antenatal clinics.Afr J Reprod Health. 2004 Aug; 8(2):91-100.AJ
This study was carried out among 345 pregnant women attending antenatal clinics at two health facilities in Lagos, Nigeria. It was undertaken to determine their knowledge and acceptability of HIV voluntary counselling and testing in pregnancy as a strategy for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. Data were collected on issues relating to mother-to-child transmission of HIV, willingness to go for voluntary counselling and testing, actions to be taken if a pregnant woman was found to be HIV positive including infant feeding options. Majority of the women (89.9%) had good knowledge of the modes of HIV transmission, however, knowledge of specific aspects of PMTCT was poor. Close to half of the women (41.7%) were not aware of the association between breast milk and HIV transmission. Almost all the women (96.1%) were willing to undergo HIV testing in pregnancy particularly if it would assist preventing transmission of HIV to their babies; but only few would undergo the test if the result would be shared with relatives. Many of the women would still prefer breastfeeding even if they were found to be HIV positive. Awareness of anti-retroviral drugs among the study group was very poor. As the country is about to embark on its PMTTCT programme, there is need to increase the level of knowledge, acceptability and adoption of VCT and other PMTCT strategies among potential beneficiaries. Innovative information and education techniques need to be developed to provide HIV positive mothers with knowledge and skills that can enable them to make informed choices about infant feeding options and other forms of care.