Effectiveness of Antenatal Group HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing Services in Rural India

Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington Seattle, Seattle, Washington, United States
AIDS Education and Prevention (Impact Factor: 1.59). 07/2007; 19(3):187-97. DOI: 10.1521/aeap.2007.19.3.187
Source: PubMed


This study assessed HIV attitudes among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in the Namakkal district of Tamilnadu, India, as well as HIV knowledge before and after group counseling sessions. Two hundred thirteen women (97%) attending five antenatal clinics in July 2004 accepted HIV counseling and testing and completed precounseling and postcounseling questionnaires. Although the majority of women had heard of HIV, precounseling knowledge was low (mean precounseling score; 6.9/18, SD: 4.53), with scores correlating with the women's educational level and the number of sources from which they had received information about HIV. Posttest scores increased by 21%, however, understanding of modalities to prevent HIV infection remained poor. Group counseling sessions achieve small gains in HIV knowledge, but there is a continued need for ongoing and multifaceted HIV education in rural India.

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    • "We conducted a community-based cross-sectional survey, using stratified cluster sampling, among 18–49 year-old wives of truckers and their husbands in Namakkal district (63.5 % rural population [Gupta et al., 2007]) of Tamil Nadu state in India. We used a list of married truck drivers with their home addresses, including village/town, prepared with information from local networks and non-government organizations (NGOs). "
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    ABSTRACT: It is important to know about patterns of sexual behaviors among married couples in order to develop effective HIV prevention strategies for them. Herein we describe the sexual behaviors, estimate prevalence of anal intercourse (AI) among truck drivers ("truckers") and their wives, and determine partner-specific demographic and behavioral correlates of AI. We carried out a cluster-sampled cross-sectional survey among 18-49 year-old wives and their trucker husbands in a south Indian district. Data were collected by same-gender research team members with color-coded computer-assisted interviews. We used random intercept logistic regression to identify the independent correlates of AI. Thirteen percent of 475 wives and 467 truckers reported ever having AI with their spouse. Of those who responded, 55 % of 40 wives and 47 % of 36 truckers never used condoms during AI. Of those who responded, 22 of 32 wives and 24 of 32 husbands felt that condoms were unnecessary during AI. Reporting ever having AI was associated with younger age and higher education of both husband and wife. AI reported by wives was associated with having sexual partner(s) other than husband (adjusted OR 8.8 [95 % CI 3.2-24.0]), correctly answering all HIV knowledge items (adjusted OR 4.9 [95 % CI 1.9-12.5]), husband's sexual debut occurring before marriage (adjusted OR 1.9 [95 % CI 1.0-3.5]), and husband's high HIV risk perception (adjusted OR 2.5 [95 % CI 1.2-5.4]). AI reported by truckers was associated with having sex with a male or transgender (adjusted OR 4.0 [95 % CI 1.2-13.3]). Reported prevalence of AI was high considering that in India anal sex is non-normative, heavily stigmatized and, criminal. Indian heterosexual mobile populations need to be informed about the greater risk of HIV infection consequent to unprotected AI.
    Archives of Sexual Behavior 09/2014; 44(2). DOI:10.1007/s10508-014-0358-3 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    • "The studies on counseling and HIV testing were divided into two sub-categories. Studies that investigated women’s perspective on counseling and HIV testing were categorized as acceptability and utilization (N = 8) [38,39,42,45,46,48-50], and studies carried out from the perspective of health systems were classified as feasibility and provision of counseling and HIV testing (N = 6) [37,40,41,43,44,47]. "
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    ABSTRACT: In spite of effective strategies to eliminate mother-to-child-transmission of HIV, the implementation of such strategies remains a major challenge in developing countries. In India, programs for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) have been scaled up widely since 2005. However, these programs reach only a small percentage of pregnant women, and their overall effectiveness is low. Evidence-based program planning and implementation could significantly improve their effectiveness. This study sought to systematically retrieve, thematically categorize and review published research on PMTCT of HIV in India, focusing on research related to the provision and/or utilization of the cascade of services provided in a PMTCT program, in order to direct further research to enhance program implementation and effectiveness. A systematic search using MEDLINE, US National Library of Medicine Gateway system (PubMed) and ISI Web of Knowledge resulted in 1,944 abstracts, of which 167 met our inclusion criteria. A huge share of the empirical literature on PMTCT in India (N = 134) deals with epidemiological studies (N = 60). The 46 papers related to utilization/provision of the cascade of PMTCT services were mostly from the four high HIV prevalence states in southern India and from the public sector. Studies on experiences of implementing a PMTCT program (N = 20) show high rates of drop out of women in the cascade particularly prior to receiving ARV. Studies on individual components of the cascade (N = 26) show that HIV counseling and testing is acceptable and feasible. Literature on other components of the cascade - such as pregnant women's access to ANC care, HIV infected women's immunological assessment using CD4 testing, repeat HIV testing among pregnant women, early infant diagnosis and factors related to linking HIV infected women and children to postnatal care - is lacking. While the scale of the Indian PMTCT program is large, comprehensive understanding of the context-driven factors affecting its efficiency is lacking. Systematic and more focused public health research output is needed on the issues related to reduction of drop outs of women in the cascade, role of PMTCT programs in improving maternal and child health indicators and role of private sector in delivering PMTCT services.
    BMC Public Health 05/2012; 12(12):320. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-12-320 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    • "Gender-specific HIV services could directly address gender-specific clinical conditions, and in particular, women's unique psychosocial and financial needs. Currently, rural pregnant women are being offered antenatal clinic-integrated HIV testing (Gupta et al. 2007; Samuel et al. 2007). Yet these facilities do not address the gender-specific HIV testing needs for unmarried, non-pregnant or post-partum women. "
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    ABSTRACT: The emergence of HIV in rural India has the potential to heighten gender inequity in a context where women already suffer significant health disparities. Recent Indian health policies provide new opportunities to identify and implement gender-equitable rural HIV services. In this review, we adapt Mosley and Chen's conceptual framework of health to outline determinants for HIV health services utilization and outcomes. Examining the framework through a gender lens, we conduct a comprehensive literature review for gender-related gaps in HIV clinical services in rural India, focusing on patient access and outcomes, provider practices, and institutional partnerships. Contextualizing findings from rural India in the broader international literature, we describe potential strategies for gender-equitable HIV services in rural India, as responses to the following three questions: (1) What gender-specific patient needs should be addressed for gender-equitable HIV testing and care? (2) What do health care providers need to deliver HIV services with gender equity? (3) How should institutions enforce and sustain gender-equitable HIV services? Data at this early stage indicate substantial gender-related differences in HIV services in rural India, reflecting prevailing gender norms. Strategies including gender-specific HIV testing and care services would directly address current gender-specific patient needs. Rural care providers urgently need training in gender sensitivity and HIV-related communication and clinical skills. To enforce and sustain gender equity, multi-sectoral institutions must establish gender-equitable medical workplaces, interdisciplinary HIV services partnerships, and oversight methods, including analysis of gender-disaggregated data. A gender-equitable approach to rural India's rapidly evolving HIV services programmes could serve as a foundation for gender equity in the overall health care system.
    Health Policy and Planning 03/2009; 24(3):197-208. DOI:10.1093/heapol/czp004 · 3.47 Impact Factor
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