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Detection of maternal HIV infection early in pregnancy is critical for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS. Most efforts have focused on VCT as the primary means of encouraging people to become aware of their HIV status. However, its uptake is low in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa including Ethiopia. Provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling provides a critical opportunity to diagnose HIV infection, to begin chronic care, and to prevent mother to child transmission. However, little is known about its acceptance and associated factors among pregnant women in the country and particularly in the present study area.
Health institution based cross-sectional quantitative study was conducted in Gondar town from July 22-August 18, 2010. A total of 400 pregnant women were involved in the study using stratified sampling technique and multiple logistic regression analysis was employed using SPSS version 16.
A total of 400 pregnant women actively participated in this study and 330 (82.5%) of them accepted provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling to be tested for HIV and 70(17.5%) of them refused. Acceptance of provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling was positively associated with greater number of antenatal care visits [Adj. OR (95%CI)=2.64(1.17, 5.95)], residing in the urban areas[Adj. OR (95%CI)=2.85(1.10, 7.41)], having comprehensive knowledge on HIV [Adj. OR (95%CI)=4.30(1.72, 10.73)], positive partners reaction for HIV positive result [Adj. OR (95%CI)=8.19(3.57, 18.80)] and having knowledge on prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV[Adj. OR (95%CI)=3.27(1.34, 7.94)], but negatively associated with increased maternal age and education level.
Utilization of provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling during antenatal care was relatively high among pregnant women in Gondar town. Couple counseling and HIV testing should be strengthened to promote provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling among male partners and to reduce HIV related violence of women from their partner and access to and consistent use of antenatal care should be improved to increase the uptake of provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling service.