estimated 1.2 percent of pregnant women are living with HIV in Ethiopia and
sadly, one of every 3 children born to these women is infected with HIV.
Elimination of these mother-to-child transmissions (MTCT) of HIV is possible
through HIV testing during pregnancy and taking antiretroviral medications.
However, only 24 percent of pregnant women living with HIV have yet received
the medication needed to prevent MTCT of HIV in Amhara region, Ethiopia. Hence,
there exists a concern that the rate of HIV infection among infants born to HIV
positive mothers might be high. This study assessed the prevalence of HIV
infection and associated factors among infants born to women living with HIV. Methods:
All eligible records of HIV-exposed infants enrolled between January and
December 2012 were reviewed from 17 health facilities which were providing
PMTCT services. The study included 434 HIV-exposed infants having HIV DNA/PCR
test result. Data were collected using structured data extraction formats. Data
were then entered into EPI INFO Version 3.5.1 and analyzed by SPSS Version 16.0.
Both bivariate and multivariate analyses were carried out to calculate odds
ratios and to control for the effect of confounding. Result: The prevalence of HIV
among exposed infants was 10.1%. Delay in HIV diagnosis (AOR = 1.3), mixed
infant feeding (AOR = 8.8), failure to receive antiretroviral therapy during
pregnancy or breast feeding (AOR = 21.6), failure to attend skilled delivery
service (AOR = 6.1) and shorter duration of HIV treatment (AOR = 12) were the
factors that increase the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in this
study. Conclusion: The prevalence of HIV among infants born to HIV positive
women in the region is close to the national estimate of 10.9%. Delayed HIV
diagnosis, inadequate use of antiretroviral therapy and lack of skilled
delivery care were the factors that enhance mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Having such a significant figure in the era of the world’s pledge to eliminate
MTCT of HIV is unbearable. Ensuring access and use of integrated PMTCT services
should be the top priorities of the national PMTCT program.
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Digsu, K., et al. (2013) Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV and Its Predictors among HIV-Exposed Infants at a PMTCT Clinic in Northwest Ethiopia. BMC Public Health,13,398. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-13-398
Mirkuzie, A., et al. (2010) Promising Outcomes of a National Program for the Prevention of Mother-To-Child HIV Transmission in Addis Ababa: A Retrospective Study. BMC Health Services Research, 10, 267.http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-10-267
Petra Study Team (2002) Efficacy of Three Short-Course Regimens of Zidovudine and Lamivudine in Preventing Early and Late Transmission of HIV-1 from Mother to Child in Tanzania, South Africa, and Uganda (Petra Study). Lancet, 359, 1178-1186. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(02)08214-4
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Tonwe, G.B., et al. (2009) Implementing Family-Focused HIV Care and Treatment: The First 2 Years’ Experience of the Mother-To-Child Program in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Tropical Medicine & International Health, 14, 204-212.http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3156.2008.02182.x
WHO/UNICEF (2007) Guideline on Global Scale-Up of the Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV towards Universal Access for Women, Infants and Young Children and Eliminating HIV and AIDS among Children. WHO/UNICEF, Geneva.