HIV infection Predisposition among women of reproductive age attending Postnatal clinic in a District Hospital. Homabay County - Kenya
Odhiambo, Roselyne Akinyi
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This study is about HIV infection Predisposition among women attending Postnatal clinic in a District Hospital in Homabay County. Postpartum period is a period after birth which is the most neglected aspect of maternal health, yet a time of high risk for maternal mortality. While many women access antenatal care, much fewer women globally have access to postnatal care. It is clearly evident that some women who test HIV negative in pregnancy end up testing HIV positive post-delivery. Although most pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa are HIV negative, they remain at risk for HIV infection in the breastfeeding period (Kinuthia et. al.2004). The broad objective of this study is to contribute to a better understanding of the risk factors for HIV infection in the breastfeeding period among mothers in Homabay county. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among postpartum mothers. The study was conducted in Homa Bay District Hospital – Homa Bay county. The target population was women, who were breastfeeding within 2years, tested HIV negative in their previous postnatal HIV test and attended clinic within 2months. Simple random sampling was used to select the study participants. The target population was 234. Pre-testing of the study tool on breastfeeding women was done at Rachuonyo district hospital. Researcher administered questionnaires were used to collect data. Data collected was entered into an excel spreadsheet for computation. SPSS version 22 was used to analyze the data. In the study, there was a 100% response rate, (n=234), the HIV seroconversion rate was 22%. From the analysis, the status of employment (p <0.0001) correlated with HIV transmission. Violence of a partner correlated with mothers post HIV test (p <0.0001). Refusal to use condom also correlated with mothers post HIV test (p <0.001). Lastly, being forced to have sex correlated with mothers post HIV test (p <0.001). The type of rituals commonly practiced were wife inheritance (84%). The ability to refuse sex if partner did not want to use condom was a strong factor that showed correlation (p<0.001). The number of sexual partners affected the HIV status according to the most recent test and most who had 3 to 4 partners were positive (n=46). The fewer the partners, the less the chances of being positive and the correlation was significant at alpha level of 0.05 (p=0.001). From the study, mothers perceived differently the risks that predispose them to HIV infection during their breastfeeding period agreeing that, condom use prevents spread of HIV infection. Other factors such as domestic violence, unprotected sex and multiple sex partners were seen to be part of the major contributors to HIV infection. Need for further research to be carried out to determine the uptake of HIV related care services for both pre and post natal mothers as there is minimal evidence to show that women actually utilize these services, which then becomes a risk to both mother s and their children who eventually become exposed to the virus. The study was conducted following approval by the Kenyatta University research and ethics committee and National Council for Science and Technology. Permission was sought from the specific facility heads (Medical Superintendent) where the research was conducted, and finally the study participants were consented before participating in the study.