Routine Prenatal HIV Testing: Women’s Concerns and Their Strategies for Addressing Concerns

François-Xavier Bagnoud Center, School of Nursing, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ 07107, USA.
Maternal and Child Health Journal (Impact Factor: 2.24). 02/2011; 16(2):464-9. DOI: 10.1007/s10995-011-0754-4
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this exploratory study was to solicit women's opinions about the process of routine prenatal HIV testing to identify strategies for routine testing that will address women's concerns, increase their level of comfort with testing, and support universal prenatal HIV testing. A convenience sample of English-speaking women between 18 and 45 years of age who were HIV-negative or of unknown HIV status were recruited for focus groups at four diverse community sites in four states. Focus group discussion questions addressed health care provider approaches and actions that would make a woman feel more comfortable with the process of routine prenatal HIV testing. Twenty-five women agreed to participate; most women (64%) were of Black, non-Hispanic race/ethnicity; 44% were 25-34 years of age. Thematic analysis of women's concerns about routine prenatal HIV testing fell into the following categories: fear, protecting the baby, protecting the woman, confidentiality, and stigma. Women's strategies for addressing these concerns were related to themes of education and information, normalizing HIV testing, patient-provider relationships, systems, and private communication. Participants offered numerous insightful and practical suggestions for addressing their concerns thereby supporting universal routine prenatal HIV testing. The themes that arose in this study support the conclusion that women will be more comfortable with routine prenatal HIV testing if they are fully informed and knowledgeable about the rationale for HIV testing during pregnancy and their right to decline, and if testing is carried out in a confidential and supportive health care environment.

Download full-text


Available from: Carolyn K Burr
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Perinatal HIV transmission disproportionately affects African American, Latina and potentially Hmong women in the United States. Understanding racially and ethnically diverse women's perceptions of and experiences with perinatal health care, HIV testing and HIV/AIDS may inform effective health communications to reduce the risk of perinatal HIV transmission among disproportionate risk groups. We used a qualitative descriptive research design with content analysis of five focus groups of African American, Caucasian, Hmong and Latina women of reproductive age with low socioeconomic status distinguished by their race/ethnicity or HIV status. A purposive stratified sample of 37 women shared their health-care experiences, health information sources and perceptions of HIV testing and HIV/AIDS. Women's responses highlighted the importance of developing and leveraging trusted provider and community-based relationships and assessing a woman's beliefs and values in her sociocultural context, to ensure clear, consistent and relevant communications. Perinatal health communications that are culturally sensitive and based on an assessment of women's knowledge and understanding of perinatal health and HIV/AIDS may be an effective tool for health educators addressing racial and ethnic disparities in perinatal HIV transmission.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Health Education Research