[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Population-based evaluations of programs for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) are scarce. We measured PMTCT service coverage, regimen use, and HIV-free survival among children ≤24 mo of age in Cameroon, Côte D'Ivoire, South Africa, and Zambia.
We randomly sampled households in 26 communities and offered participation if a child had been born to a woman living there during the prior 24 mo. We tested consenting mothers with rapid HIV antibody tests and tested the children of seropositive mothers with HIV DNA PCR or rapid antibody tests. Our primary outcome was 24-mo HIV-free survival, estimated with survival analysis. In an individual-level analysis, we evaluated the effectiveness of various PMTCT regimens. In a community-level analysis, we evaluated the relationship between HIV-free survival and community PMTCT coverage (the proportion of HIV-exposed infants in each community that received any PMTCT intervention during gestation or breastfeeding). We also compared our community coverage results to those of a contemporaneous study conducted in the facilities serving each sampled community. Of 7,985 surveyed children under 2 y of age, 1,014 (12.7%) were HIV-exposed. Of these, 110 (10.9%) were HIV-infected, 851 (83.9%) were HIV-uninfected, and 53 (5.2%) were dead. HIV-free survival at 24 mo of age among all HIV-exposed children was 79.7% (95% CI: 76.4, 82.6) overall, with the following country-level estimates: Cameroon (72.6%; 95% CI: 62.3, 80.5), South Africa (77.7%; 95% CI: 72.5, 82.1), Zambia (83.1%; 95% CI: 78.4, 86.8), and Côte D'Ivoire (84.4%; 95% CI: 70.0, 92.2). In adjusted analyses, the risk of death or HIV infection was non-significantly lower in children whose mothers received a more complex regimen of either two or three antiretroviral drugs compared to those receiving no prophylaxis (adjusted hazard ratio: 0.60; 95% CI: 0.34, 1.06). Risk of death was not different for children whose mothers received a more complex regimen compared to those given single-dose nevirapine (adjusted hazard ratio: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.45, 1.72). Community PMTCT coverage was highest in Cameroon, where 75 of 114 HIV-exposed infants met criteria for coverage (66%; 95% CI: 56, 74), followed by Zambia (219 of 444, 49%; 95% CI: 45, 54), then South Africa (152 of 365, 42%; 95% CI: 37, 47), and then Côte D'Ivoire (3 of 53, 5.7%; 95% CI: 1.2, 16). In a cluster-level analysis, community PMTCT coverage was highly correlated with facility PMTCT coverage (Pearson's r = 0.85), and moderately correlated with 24-mo HIV-free survival (Pearson's r = 0.29). In 14 of 16 instances where both the facility and community samples were large enough for comparison, the facility-based coverage measure exceeded that observed in the community.
HIV-free survival can be estimated with community surveys and should be incorporated into ongoing country monitoring. Facility-based coverage measures correlate with those derived from community sampling, but may overestimate population coverage. The more complex regimens recommended by the World Health Organization seem to have measurable public health benefit at the population level, but power was limited and additional field validation is needed. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
PLoS Medicine 05/2013; 10(5):e1001424. DOI:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001424 · 14.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Male circumcision can reduce the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV-1 infection in men. Neonatal male circumcision (NMC) has many potential advantages over circumcision at older ages, but little is known about its feasibility and safety in resource-limited settings.
We performed a randomized trial in southeastern Botswana of Mogen clamp and Plastibell, 2 commonly used devices for NMC. Follow-up visits occurred at 6 weeks and 4 months postpartum. Adverse events, parental satisfaction, and staff impressions were recorded.
Of 302 male neonates randomized, 300 (99%) underwent circumcision, 153 (51%) with Mogen clamp, and 147 (49%) with Plastibell. There were no major adverse events in the Mogen clamp arm, but there were 2 major adverse events in the Plastibell arm (both were a proximally migrated ring that had to be removed by study staff). Minor adverse events were more common with the Mogen clamp compared with the Plastibell, specifically removal of too little skin and formation of skin bridges or adhesions (12 versus 1 and 11 versus 3, respectively, all P < 0.05). Five (3%) infants in the Mogen clamp arm and none in the Plastibell arm had minor bleeding (P = 0.03). More than 94% of mothers reported being highly or completely satisfied with the procedure.
NMC can be performed in Botswana with a low rate of adverse events and high parental satisfaction. Although the risk of migration and retention of the Plastibell is small, the Mogen clamp may be safer for NMC in regions where immediate emergent medical attention is not available.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Global Plan Towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections among Children and Keeping Their Mothers Alive aims to reduce by 2015 the number of new infections in children, in 22 priority countries, by at least 90% from 2009 levels. Mathematical models, such as Spectrum, are used to estimate national and global trends of the number of infants infected through mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). However, other modelling exercises have also examined MTCT under different settings. MTCT probabilities applied in models to populations that are assumed to receive antiretroviral interventions need to reflect the most current risk estimates.
The UNAIDS Reference Group on Estimates, Modelling and Projections held a consultation to review data on MTCT probabilities. Published literature, recent conferences and data from personal communications with principle investigators were reviewed. Based on available data, peripartum and postnatal transmission probabilities were estimated for different antiretroviral drug regimens and maternal CD4 levels including for women with incident infection.
Incident infections occurring during pregnancy are estimated to be associated with a 30% probability of MTCT; incident infections during breast feeding lead to a 28% probability of postnatal MTCT. The 2010 WHO recommended regimens (Options A or B) are estimated to be associated with a 2% peripartum transmission probability and 0.2% transmission probability per month of breast feeding. Peripartum and postnatal transmission probabilities were lowest for women who were taking antiretroviral therapy before the pregnancy namely 0.5% peripartum and 0.16% per month of breast feeding, respectively.
These updated probabilities of HIV transmission (applied to Spectrum in April 2011) will be used to estimate new child HIV infections and track progress towards the 2015 targets of the Global Plan.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
It is unknown whether adverse birth outcomes are associated with maternal highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in pregnancy, particularly in resource-limited settings.
We abstracted obstetrical records at 6 sites in Botswana for 24 months. Outcomes included stillbirths (SBs), preterm delivery (PTD), small for gestational age (SGA), and neonatal death (NND). Among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women, comparisons were limited to HAART exposure status at conception, and those with similar opportunities for outcomes. Comparisons were adjusted for CD4(+) lymphocyte cell count.
Of 33,148 women, 32,113 (97%) were tested for HIV, of whom 9504 (30%) were HIV infected. Maternal HIV was significantly associated with SB, PTD, SGA, and NND. Compared with all other HIV-infected women, those continuing HAART from before pregnancy had higher odds of PTD (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1, 1.4), SGA (AOR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.6, 2.1) and SB (AOR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.2, 1.8). Among women initiating antiretroviral therapy in pregnancy, HAART use (vs zidovudine) was associated with higher odds of PTD (AOR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.2, 1.8), SGA (AOR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.2, 1.9), and SB (AOR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.6, 3.9). Low CD4(+) was independently associated with SB and SGA, and maternal hypertension during pregnancy with PTD, SGA, and SB.
HAART receipt during pregnancy was associated with increased PTD, SGA, and SB.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 10/2012; 206(11). DOI:10.1093/infdis/jis553 · 6.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased stillbirth rates occur among HIV-infected women, but no studies have evaluated the pathological basis for this increase, or whether highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) influences the etiology of stillbirths. It is also unknown whether HIV infection of the fetus is associated with stillbirth.
HIV-infected women and a comparator group of HIV-uninfected women who delivered stillbirths were enrolled at the largest referral hospital in Botswana between January and November 2010. Obstetrical records, including antiretroviral use in pregnancy, were extracted at enrollment. Verbal autopsies; maternal HIV, CD4 and HIV RNA testing; stillbirth HIV PCR testing; and placental pathology (blinded to HIV and treatment status) were performed.
Ninety-nine stillbirths were evaluated, including 62 from HIV-infected women (34% on HAART from conception, 8% on HAART started in pregnancy, 23% on zidovudine started in pregnancy, and 35% on no antiretrovirals) and 37 from a comparator group of HIV-uninfected women. Only 2 (3.7%) of 53 tested stillbirths from HIV-infected women were HIV PCR positive, and both were born to women not receiving HAART. Placental insufficiency associated with hypertension accounted for most stillbirths. Placental findings consistent with chronic hypertension were common among HIV-infected women who received HAART and among HIV-uninfected women (65% vs. 54%, p = 0.37), but less common among HIV-infected women not receiving HAART (28%, p = 0.003 vs. women on HAART).
In utero HIV infection was rarely associated with stillbirths, and did not occur among women receiving HAART. Hypertension and placental insufficiency were associated with most stillbirths in this tertiary care setting.
PLoS ONE 02/2012; 7(2):e31580. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0031580 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Health facility characteristics associated with effective prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) coverage in sub-Saharan are poorly understood.
We conducted surveys in health facilities with active PMTCT services in Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, South Africa, and Zambia. Data was compiled via direct observation and exit interviews. We constructed composite scores to describe provision of PMTCT services across seven topical areas: antenatal quality, PMTCT quality, supplies available, patient satisfaction, patient understanding of medication, and infrastructure quality. Pearson correlations and Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) to account for clustering of facilities within countries were used to evaluate the relationship between the composite scores, total time of visit and select individual variables with PMTCT coverage among women delivering.
Between July 2008 and May 2009, we collected data from 32 facilities; 78% were managed by the government health system. An opt-out approach for HIV testing was used in 100% of facilities in Zambia, 63% in Cameroon, and none in Côte d'Ivoire or South Africa. Using Pearson correlations, PMTCT coverage (median of 55%, (IQR: 33–68) was correlated with PMTCT quality score (rho = 0.51; p = 0.003); infrastructure quality score (rho = 0.43; p = 0.017); time spent at clinic (rho = 0.47; p = 0.013); patient understanding of medications score (rho = 0.51; p = 0.006); and patient satisfaction quality score (rho = 0.38; p = 0.031). PMTCT coverage was marginally correlated with the antenatal quality score (rho = 0.304; p = 0.091). Using GEE adjustment for clustering, the, antenatal quality score became more strongly associated with PMTCT coverage (p<0.001) and the PMTCT quality score and patient understanding of medications remained marginally significant.
We observed a positive relationship between an antenatal quality score and PMTCT coverage but did not identify a consistent set of variables that predicted PMTCT coverage.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(1):e29823. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0029823 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Between January and March of 2006, over 35 000 diarrhea cases and 532 deaths were reported among children aged <5 years in Botswana. We conducted an investigation to characterize the outbreak, identify risk factors for diarrhea, and recommend control strategies.
We enrolled children <5 years of age presenting to the emergency department between March 2 and March 20, 2006. Cases had ≥3 loose stools per day and no antecedent diarrhea among household members. Controls had had no diarrhea since January 1, 2006. We conducted a multivariate logistic regression analysis controlling for socioeconomic status, age, and maternal HIV status.
Forty-nine cases with median age of 12 months (range 0-45 months) and 61 controls with median age of 24 months (range 0-59 months) were enrolled; 33 (30%) were born to HIV-positive mothers. Case-parents were more likely to report storing household drinking water (adjusted odds ratios (AOR) 3.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-15.7). Lack of hand washing after using the toilet or latrine (AOR 4.2, 95% CI 1.1-20.4) was more likely to be reported by case-parents. Case-children were less likely to be currently breastfeeding (AOR 30.3, 95% CI 2.0-1000.0). Five (10%) case-patients and no control-patients died. Multiple causal pathogens were identified.
During this diarrhea outbreak in a country with a national program to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, ill children were less likely to be breastfed and more likely to have been exposed to environmental factors associated with fecal contamination. These findings underscore the importance of adequate access to safe water, sanitation, hygiene, and nutrition education among populations using breast milk substitutes.
International journal of infectious diseases: IJID: official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases 10/2010; 14(11):e1002-7. DOI:10.1016/j.ijid.2010.06.014 · 1.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Few studies have objectively evaluated the coverage of services to prevent transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from mother to child.
To measure the coverage of services to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission in 4 African countries.
Cross-sectional surveillance study of mother-infant pairs using umbilical cord blood samples collected between June 10, 2007, and October 30, 2008, from 43 randomly selected facilities (grouped as 25 service clusters) providing delivery services in Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, South Africa, and Zambia. All sites used at least single-dose nevirapine to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission and some sites used additional prophylaxis drugs.
Population nevirapine coverage, defined as the proportion of HIV-exposed infants in the sample with both maternal nevirapine ingestion (confirmed by cord blood chromatography) and infant nevirapine ingestion (confirmed by direct observation).
A total of 27,893 cord blood specimens were tested, of which 3324 were HIV seropositive (12%). Complete data for cord blood nevirapine results were available on 3196 HIV-seropositive mother-infant pairs. Nevirapine coverage varied significantly by site (range: 0%-82%). Adjusted for country, the overall coverage estimate was 51% (95% confidence interval [CI], 49%-53%). In multivariable analysis, failed coverage of nevirapine-based services was significantly associated with maternal age younger than 20 years (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.44; 95% CI, 1.18-1.76) and maternal age between 20 and 25 years (AOR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.07-1.54) vs maternal age of older than 30 years; 1 or fewer antenatal care visits (AOR, 2.91; 95% CI, 2.40-3.54), 2 or 3 antenatal care visits (AOR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.60-2.33), and 4 or 5 antenatal care visits (AOR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.34-1.80) vs 6 or more antenatal care visits; vaginal delivery (AOR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.03-1.44) vs cesarean delivery; and infant birth weight of less than 2500 g (AOR, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.11-1.62) vs birth weight of 3500 g or greater.
In this random sampling of sites with services to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, only 51% of HIV-exposed infants received the minimal regimen of single-dose nevirapine.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 07/2010; 304(3):293-302. DOI:10.1001/jama.2010.990 · 35.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 2006, a pediatric diarrhea outbreak occurred in Botswana, coinciding with heavy rains. Surveillance recorded a 3 times increase in cases and a 25 fold increase in deaths between January and March. Botswana has high HIV prevalence among pregnant women (33.4% in 2005), and an estimated 35% of all infants under the age of 6 months are not breastfed.
We followed all children <5 years old with diarrhea in the country's second largest referral hospital at the peak of the outbreak by chart review, interviewed mothers, and conducted laboratory testing for HIV and enteric pathogens.
Of 153 hospitalized children with diarrhea, 97% were <2 years old; 88% of these were not breastfeeding. HIV was diagnosed in 18% of children and 64% of mothers. Cryptosporidium and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli were common; many children had multiple pathogens. Severe acute malnutrition (kwashiorkor or marasmus) developed in 38 (25%) patients, and 33 (22%) died. Kwashiorkor increased risk for death (relative risk 2.0; P = 0.05); only one breastfeeding child died. Many children who died had been undersupplied with formula.
Most of the severe morbidity and mortality in this outbreak occurred in children who were HIV negative and not breastfed. Feeding and nutritional factors were the most important determinants of severe illness and death. Breastfeeding is critical to infant survival in the developing world, and support for breastfeeding among HIV-negative women, and HIV-positive women who cannot formula feed safely, may prevent further high-mortality outbreaks.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In early 2006, coinciding with heavy rains, Botswana health facilities reported increases in diarrhea, mortality, and acute malnutrition among young children. Data on diarrhea, human immunodeficiency virus, feeding, mortality, and water/sanitation were collected by random cluster survey. Anthropometric data were measured and drinking water samples were tested. Of 537 surveyed children less than five years of age, one-third experienced >or= 1 episode of diarrhea. Prevalence of acute malnutrition was 7.9%, and the mortality rate for children less than five years of age was 2.6/10,000/day during the outbreak. Significant risk factors for diarrhea included an age less than two years; breastfeeding was protective. Diarrhea lasting for more than 14 days and failure to thrive were risk factors for acute malnutrition. Prevalence of acute malnutrition was higher than previously documented and the mortality rate in children less than five years of age during the outbreak was above the international threshold for emergency action with an estimated 547 excess deaths. This survey highlights the need for safe infant feeding and effective treatment of malnutrition and diarrhea in young children.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 05/2009; 80(5):812-8. · 2.70 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although Botswana supports a program for the prevention of mother-to-child-transmission of HIV (PMTCT), many women initially did not take advantage of the program. Using data from a 2003 survey of 504 pregnant and post-partum women, we assessed associations between exposure to a long-running radio serial drama that encourages use of the PMTCT program and HIV testing during pregnancy. Controlling for demographic, pregnancy and other variables, women who spontaneously named a PMTCT character in the serial drama as their favorite character were nearly twice as likely to test for HIV during pregnancy as those who did not. Additionally, multiparity, knowing a pregnant woman taking AZT, having a partner who tested, higher education and PMTCT knowledge were associated with HIV testing during pregnancy. Identification with characters in the radio serial drama is associated with testing during pregnancy. Coupled with other supporting elements, serial dramas could contribute to HIV prevention, treatment and care initiatives.
Health Promotion International 05/2008; 23(3):260-8. DOI:10.1093/heapro/dan011 · 1.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ambitious goals for paediatric AIDS control have been set by various international bodies, including a 50% reduction in new paediatric infections by 2010. While these goals are clearly appropriate in their scope, the lack of clarity and consensus around how to monitor the effectiveness of programmes to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) makes it difficult for policy-makers to mount a coordinated response. In this paper, we develop the case for using population HIV-free child survival as a gold standard metric to measure the effectiveness of PMTCT programmes, and go on to consider multiple study designs and source populations. Finally, we propose a novel community survey-based approach that could be implemented widely throughout the developing world with minor modifications to ongoing Demographic and Health Surveys.
Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 02/2008; 86(1):57-62. DOI:10.2471/BLT.07.043117 · 5.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Botswana has high antenatal human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence (33.4%). The public health system provides free services for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and antiretroviral therapy, which can reduce vertical HIV transmission from 35% to <5%. Infant HIV diagnosis is challenging in resource-limited settings, and HIV prevalence among HIV-exposed infants in Botswana is unknown. Dried blood spot (DBS) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) provides a feasible method to assess PMTCT programs and identify HIV-infected children.
We trained staff in 15 clinics and a hospital to obtain DBS on HIV-exposed infants age 6 weeks to 17 months receiving routine care. Samples were sent to the national HIV reference laboratory. Roche Amplicor 1.5 DNA PCR testing was performed.
Between June-December 2005, 1931 HIV-exposed infants age 6 weeks to 17 months were tested for HIV, of whom 136 (7.0%) were HIV infected. Among infants <or=8 weeks old, 27 of 544 (5.0%) were HIV infected. Among infants tested in clinics (primarily during routine health visits), 65 of 1376 (4.7%) were infected; among infants tested in the hospital, 71 of 555 (12.8%) were infected.
Collection and testing of DBS was successfully integrated into routine infant care in the public health system. HIV prevalence among infants in the Botswana PMTCT program is low. National expansion of infant DBS PCR in Botswana is planned.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Francistown, Botswana, approximately 40% of pregnant women are HIV positive. PMTCT has been available since 1999, antiretroviral (ARV) therapy since 2001, and 95% of women have antenatal care (ANC) and deliver in hospital. However, in 2002, only 33% of ANC clients were tested for HIV, and not all women with HIV received services. In 2003, we conducted a survey of 504 pregnant and postpartum women to explore reasons for poor program uptake, and interviewed 82 health providers about PMTCT. Most women (95%) believed that all pregnant women should be tested for HIV. In multivariate analysis, factors associated with having an HIV test included being interviewed at an urban site, having a high PMTCT knowledge score, knowing someone receiving PMTCT or ARV therapy, and having a partner who had been tested for HIV. Neither fear of stigma nor resistance from partners were frequent reasons for refusing an HIV test. Providers of HIV services reported discomfort with their knowledge and skills, and 84% believed HIV testing should be routine. Ensuring adequate knowledge about HIV and PMTCT, creating systems whereby HIV-positive women receiving care can educate and support other women, and making HIV testing routine for pregnant women may improve the uptake of HIV testing.
AIDS and Behavior 12/2007; 13(2):356-64. DOI:10.1007/s10461-007-9322-8 · 3.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diagnosing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in infants is difficult because maternal HIV antibodies cross the placenta, causing positive serologic tests in HIV-exposed infants for the first several months of life. Early definitive diagnosis of HIV requires virologic testing such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which is the diagnostic standard in resource-rich settings but has been too complex and expensive for widespread use in most countries with high HIV prevalence. Early PCR testing can help HIV-infected infants access treatment, provide psychosocial benefits for families of uninfected infants, and help programs for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV monitor their effectiveness. HIV testing, including PCR, is increasingly available for infants in resource-limited settings, but there are many barriers and complex policy decisions that need to be addressed before universal early testing can become standard. This paper reviews challenges and progress in the field and suggests ways to facilitate early infant testing in resource-limited settings.
American journal of obstetrics and gynecology 10/2007; 197(3 Suppl):S64-71. DOI:10.1016/j.ajog.2007.03.002 · 4.70 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prevention of mother-to-child human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission (PMTCT) programs have nearly eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV in developed countries, but progress in resource-limited countries has been slow. A key factor limiting the scale-up of PMTCT programs is lack of knowledge of HIV serostatus. Increasing the availability and acceptability of HIV testing and counseling services will encourage more women to learn their status, providing a gateway to PMTCT interventions. Key factors contributing to the scale-up of testing and counseling include a policy of provider-initiated testing and counseling with right to refuse (opt-out); group pretest counseling; rapid HIV testing; innovative staffing strategies; and community and male involvement. Integration of testing and counseling within the community and all maternal and child health settings are critical for scaling-up and for linking women and their families to care and treatment services. This paper will review best practices needed for expansion of testing and counseling in PMTCT settings in resource-limited countries.
American journal of obstetrics and gynecology 10/2007; 197(3 Suppl):S83-9. DOI:10.1016/j.ajog.2007.03.006 · 4.70 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Botswana has high HIV prevalence among pregnant women (37.4% in 2003) and provides free services for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. Nearly all pregnant women (>95%) have antenatal care (ANC) and deliver in hospital. Uptake of antenatal HIV testing was low from 1999 through 2003. In 2004, Botswana's President declared that HIV testing should be "routine but not compulsory" in medical settings.
Health workers were trained to provide group education and recommend HIV testing as part of routine ANC services. Logbook data on ANC attendance, HIV testing, and uptake of PMTCT interventions were reviewed before and after routine testing training, and ANC clients were interviewed.
After routine testing started, the percentage of all HIV-infected women delivering in the regional hospital who knew their HIV status increased from 47% to 78% and the percentage receiving PMTCT interventions increased from 29% to 56%. ANC attendance and the percentage of HIV-positive women who disclosed their HIV status to others remained stable. Interviews indicated that ANC clients supported the policy.
Routine HIV testing was more accepted than voluntary testing in this setting and led to substantial increases in the uptake of testing and PMTCT interventions without detectable adverse consequences. Routine testing in other settings may strengthen HIV care and prevention efforts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: : HIV services, including voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) and antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, expanded rapidly in Botswana from 2000 through 2004.
: Client data from Botswana's Tebelopele VCT network were analyzed to describe clients, factors associated with HIV infection, and trends in VCT use.
: Tebelopele provided free, anonymous, same-day HIV tests for 117,234 clients from 2000 through 2004. Before ARV therapy was available, 8.3% of clients sought a test because of illness, and 26.3% were HIV-positive. After ARV therapy became available, 20.1% of clients sought a test because of illness, and 38.8% were HIV-positive. Most VCT clients (82.7%) were unmarried; 89.8% reported no or 1 sexual partner in the last 3 months; and 50.2% of unmarried clients reported always using condoms in the last 3 months. In multivariate analysis, higher educational level, marriage, and always using condoms were associated with a lower risk of HIV. Having only 1 recent sexual partner was associated with less condom use and a higher risk of being HIV-positive for men.
: VCT has been well accepted in Botswana. Analysis of this data set supports efforts to promote 100% condom use and to emphasize that partner reduction must be combined with condom use and HIV testing to protect against HIV.