Background: HIV testing and counseling (HTC) plays a central role in
specific prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) interventions, as
these interventions depend on the woman knowing her HIV status. Over ninety
percent of HIV infection in children is acquired through mother-to-child
transmission. Objectives: This study assessed pregnant women’s knowledge of
HIV/AIDS, their awareness of HIV testing and counseling, and compared the
uptake of HTC to the previously practiced voluntary counseling and testing
(VCT) in a teaching hospital in northern Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A
pre-tested, structured interview questionnaire was administered on a
cross-section survey of 270 antenatal clients in Ahmadu Bello University
Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Nigeria. Information about knowledge of HIV/AIDS and
attitude towards HTC was elicited among respondents. Results: Eighty-nine
percent of respondents were aware of HIV/AIDS. The knowledge of route of
disease transmission was high, with 87.4% and 81.1% of studyparticipants
mentioning sexual activity and mother-to-child transmission, respectively.
Majority of respondents (98.9%) were aware of HTC and approved of it (91.1%)
while 7.8% declined and the remaining 1.1% were undecided. Fourteen percent of
respondents didn’t approve of retesting in labour. Sixty-eight percent of
respondents were aware of interventions to prevent mother-to-child transmission
of HIV. Switching from VCT to HTC has dramatically improved the uptake of
testing from 78.9% in 2006 to 91.1% in 2012. Conclusion: Routine HIV testing
and counseling is more acceptable than voluntary counseling and testing among
antenatal clients. Although the awareness and uptake of HTC were quite high
among the antenatal clients, there is still a need to intensify health
education and incorporate husbands into the counseling session when necessary
to convince the remaining minority who are still ignorant of the benefits of
Cite this paper
Olajide, O. , Oguntayo, A. and Kolawole, A. (2015) Acceptability of HIV Testing and Counseling by Antenatal Clients of a Tertiary Institution in Northern Nigeria. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
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