XVIII International AIDS Conference


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HIV testing among pregnant women in Panama City and Colon City: rates and predictors

A.A. Munoz Aragon

Probidsida, Education, Panama, Panama

Objective: To assess rates of offering and uptake of HIV testing and their predictors among women who attended prenatal care.
Methods: A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted among postpartum women (N=1,256) who attended at least one prenatal care visit in 2 cities. Independent and probabilistic samples were selected in the cities studied. Sociodemographic data, information about prenatal care and access to HIV prevention interventions during the current pregnancy were collected. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were carried out to assess independent effects of the covariates on offering and uptake of HIV testing. Data collection took place between May 2005 and Decemberl 2009.
Results: Overall, 75% of the women reported undergoing HIV testing during the current pregnancy. Offering of HIV testing was positively associated with: previous knowledge about prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV; higher number of prenatal care visits; higher level of education and being white. HIV testing acceptance rate was 92.5%.
Conclusions: The study results indicate that dissemination of information about prevention of mother-to-child transmission among women may contribute to increasing HIV testing coverage during pregnancy. Non-white women with lower level of education should be prioritized. Strategies to increase attendance of vulnerable women to prenatal care and to raise awareness among health care workers are of utmost importance.

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