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Knowledge, Attitudes and Barriers towards Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV among Women Attending Antenatal clinics in Uyam District of Zaki-Biam in Benue State, Nigeria

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Abstract:

Benue State in North Central Nigeria has one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates of 9.3%, among children and adults aged 13-45years. To improve the survival of mothers and children and to identify the major challenges in scaling-up PMTCT services, a descriptive, study was conducted to assess knowledge, attitudes and barriers to the uptake of PMTCT by 384 women attending antenatal clinics (ANC) in Uyam, Zaki-Biam, a semi-urban area of Benue State. A standard questionnaire was used for data collection. A high number of subjects knew that unprotected sexual intercourse is a risk factor for transmission, with most 281 (73.2%) of them aware that an HIV infected woman could get pregnant; while 275 (71.6%) knew that infection can be transmitted from the mother to her unborn child. Only 214 (55.7%) of the study participants had done the HIV test in pregnancy because of, inadequate VCT centers, issues of stigma and absence of family support including attitudes of staff. Age, parity and socio- economic status, as well as location influenced the responses of respondents. In spite of the increasing public awareness in Nigeria about HIV/AIDS, there still exist gaps as a result of different levels of education and access to information, coupled with lack of trained personnel and adequately equipped health care facilities. To improve survival and probably eliminate HIV/AIDS, the integration of PMTCT into primary health care services in Nigerian communities should be considered. (Afr J Reprod Health 2012; 16[3]: 27-34).

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