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Uptake and performance of prevention of mother-to-child transmission and early infant diagnosis in pregnant HIV infected women and their exposed infants at seven health centres in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Girma M; Wendaferash R; Shibru H; Berhane Y; Hoelscheer M
Tropical Medicine and International Health. 2017 Jun; 22(6):765-775.

Objective To assess the uptake of WHO-recommended PMTCT procedures in Ethiopia's health services. Methods Prospective observational study of HIV-positive pregnant mothers and their newborns attending PMTCT services at seven health centers in Addis Ababa. Women were recruited during antenatal care and followed-up with their newborns at delivery, day 6 and week 6 postpartum. Retention to PMCTC procedures, self-reported ART adherence, and HIV infant outcome were assessed. Turnaround times of HIV early infant diagnosis (EID) procedures were extracted from health registers. Results Of 494 women enrolled 4.9% did not complete PMTCT procedures due to active denial or loss to follow-up. HIV was first diagnosed in 223 (45.1%) and ART initiated in 321 (65.0%) women during pregnancy. ART was initiated in a median of 1.3 weeks (IQR 0-4.3) after HIV diagnosis. Poor self-reported treatment adherence was higher post-partum than during pregnancy (12.5% versus 7.0%, p=0.002), and significantly associated with divorced/separated marital status (RR 2.2, 95% CI 1.3-3.8), low family income (RR 2.1, 95% CI 1.1-4.1), low CD4-count (RR 1.7, 95% CI 1.0-3.0), and ART initiation during delivery (RR 2.5, 95% CI 1.1-5.6). Of 435 infants born alive 98.6% received nevirapine prophylaxis. The mother-to-child HIV transmission rate was 0.7% after a median of 6.7 weeks (IQR 6.4-10.4), but EID results were received for only 46.6% within 3 months of birth. Conclusion High retention in PMTCT services, triple maternal ART and high infant nevirapine prophylaxis coverage were associated with low mother-to-child HIV transmission. Declining post-partum ART adherence and challenges of EID linkage require attention.

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