Women's healthcare decision-making capacity and HIV testing in sub-Saharan Africa: a multi-country analysis of demographic and health surveys

Seidu, Abdul-Aziz, Oduro, Joseph Kojo, Ahinkorah, Bright Opoku, Budu, Eugene, Appiah, Francis, Baatiema, Linus, Ameyaw, Edward Kwabena, and Sambah, Francis (2020) Women's healthcare decision-making capacity and HIV testing in sub-Saharan Africa: a multi-country analysis of demographic and health surveys. BMC Public Health, 20 (1). 1592.

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Background: Global commitment to stop Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and ensure access to HIV treatment calls for women empowerment, as these efforts play major roles in mother-to-child transmission. We examined the association between women’s healthcare decision-making capacity and uptake of HIV testing in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: We used data from the current Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) of 28 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, conducted between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2018. At the descriptive level, we calculated the prevalence of HIV testing in each of the countries. This was followed by the distribution of HIV testing across the socio-demographic characteristics of women. Finally, we used binary logistic regression assess the likelihood of HIV testing uptake by women’s health care decision-making capacity and socio-demographic characteristics. The results were presented as Crude Odds Ratios (COR) and Adjusted Odds Ratios (AOR) with their corresponding 95% confidence intervals signifying precision. Statistical significance was set at p-value < 0.05.

Results: We found that prevalence of HIV testing uptake in the 28 sub-Saharan African countries was 64.4%, with Congo DR having the least (20.2%) and the highest occurred in Rwanda (97.4%). Women who took healthcare decisions alone [COR = 3.183, CI = 2.880–3.519] or with their partners [COR = 2.577, CI = 2.335–2.844] were more likely to test for HIV, compared to those whose healthcare decisions were taken by others, and this persisted after controlling for significant covariates: [AOR = 1.507, CI = 1.321–1.720] and [AOR = 1.518, CI = 1.334–1.728] respectively.

Conclusion: Sub-Saharan African countries intending to improve HIV testing need to incorporate women's healthcare decision-making capacity strategies. These strategies can include education and counselling. This is essential because our study indicates that the capacity of women to make healthcare decisions has an association with decision to test for their HIV status.

Item ID: 66605
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2458
Keywords: Healthcare decision-making capacity, HIV, Sub-Saharan Africa, Testing, Women
Copyright Information: © 2020, The Author(s). Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. 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 in a credit line to the data.
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2021 02:33
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420202 Disease surveillance @ 80%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420311 Health systems @ 20%
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