Prenatal care coverage and correlates of HIV testing in sub-Saharan Africa: insight from demographic and health surveys of 16 countries

Awopegba, Oluwafemi Emmanuel, Kalu, Amarachi, Ahinkorah, Bright Opoku, Seidu, Abdul-Aziz, and Ajayi, Anthony Idowu (2020) Prenatal care coverage and correlates of HIV testing in sub-Saharan Africa: insight from demographic and health surveys of 16 countries. PLoS ONE, 15 (11). e0242001.

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Background: Prenatal screening of pregnant women for HIV is central to eliminating mother-to-childtransmission (MTCT) of HIV. While some countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have scaled up their prevention of MTCT programmes, ensuring a near-universal prenatal care HIV testing, and recording a significant reduction in new infection among children, several others have poor outcomes due to inadequate testing. We conducted a multi-country analysis of demographic and health surveys (DHS) to assess the coverage of HIV testing during pregnancy and also examine the factors associated with uptake.

Methods: We analysed data of 64,933 women from 16 SSA countries with recent DHS datasets (2015-2018) using Stata version 16. Adjusted and unadjusted logistic regression models were used to examine correlates of prenatal care uptake of HIV testing. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05.

Results: Progress in scaling up of prenatal care HIV testing was uneven across SSA, with only 6.1% of pregnant women tested in Chad compared to 98.1% in Rwanda. While inequality in access to HIV testing among pregnant women is pervasive in most SSA countries and particularly in West and Central Africa sub-regions, a few countries, including Rwanda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia have managed to eliminate wealth and rural-urban inequalities in access to prenatal care HIV testing.

Conclusion: Our findings highlight the between countries and sub-regional disparities in prenatal care uptake of HIV testing in SSA. Even though no country has universal coverage of prenatal care HIV testing, East and Southern African regions have made remarkable progress towards ensuring no pregnant woman is left untested. However, the West and Central Africa regions had low coverage of prenatal care testing, with the rich and well educated having better access to testing, while the poor rarely tested. Addressing the inequitable access and coverage of HIV testing among pregnant women is vital in these sub-regions.

Item ID: 66658
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Copyright Information: © 2020 Awopegba et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2021 02:41
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420305 Health and community services @ 100%
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