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1.  Incidence and Predictors of First Line Antiretroviral Regimen Modification in Western Kenya 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e93106.
Background
Limited antiretroviral treatment regimens in resource-limited settings require long-term sustainability of patients on the few available options. We evaluated the incidence and predictors of combined antiretroviral treatment (cART) modifications, in an outpatient cohort of 955 patients who initiated cART between January 2009 and January 2011 in western Kenya.
Methods
cART modification was defined as either first time single drug substitution or switch. Incidence rates were determined by Poisson regression and risk factor analysis assessed using multivariate Cox regression modeling.
Results
Over a median follow-up period of 10.7 months, 178 (18.7%) patients modified regimens (incidence rate (IR); 18.6 per 100 person years [95% CI: 16.2–21.8]). Toxicity was the most common cited reason (66.3%). In adjusted multivariate Cox piecewise regression model, WHO disease stage III/IV (aHR; 1.82, 95%CI: 1.25–2.66), stavudine (d4T) use (aHR; 2.21 95%CI: 1.49–3.30) and increase in age (aHR; 1.02, 95%CI: 1.0–1.04) were associated with increased risk of treatment modification within the first year post-cART. Zidovudine (AZT) and tenofovir (TDF) use had a reduced risk for modification (aHR; 0.60 95%CI: 0.38–0.96 and aHR; 0.51 95%CI: 0.29–0.91 respectively). Beyond one year of treatment, d4T use (aHR; 2.75, 95% CI: 1.25–6.05), baseline CD4 counts ≤350 cells/mm3 (aHR; 2.45, 95%CI: 1.14–5.26), increase in age (aHR; 1.05 95%CI: 1.02–1.07) and high baseline weight >60kg aHR; 2.69 95% CI: 1.58–4.59) were associated with risk of cART modification.
Conclusions
Early treatment initiation at higher CD4 counts and avoiding d4T use may reduce treatment modification and subsequently improve sustainability of patients on the available limited options.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093106
PMCID: PMC3973699  PMID: 24695108
2.  Integrated community case management of malaria and pneumonia increases prompt and appropriate treatment for pneumonia symptoms in children under five years in Eastern Uganda 
Malaria Journal  2013;12:340.
Background
Efforts to improve access to treatment for common illnesses in children less than five years initially targeted malaria alone under the home management of malaria strategy. However under this strategy, children with other illnesses were often wrongly treated with anti-malarials. Integrated community case management of common childhood illnesses is now recommended but its effect on promptness of appropriate pneumonia treatment is unclear.
Objectives
To determine the effect of integrated malaria and pneumonia management on receiving prompt and appropriate antibiotics for pneumonia symptoms and treatment outcomes as well as determine associated factors.
Methods
A follow-up study was nested within a cluster-randomized trial that compared under-five mortality in areas where community health workers (CHWs) treated children with malaria and pneumonia (intervention areas) and where they treated children with malaria only (control areas). Children treated by CHWs were enrolled on the day of seeking treatment from CHWs (609 intervention, 667 control) and demographic, illness, and treatment seeking information was collected. Further information on illness and treatment outcomes was collected on day four. The primary outcome was prompt and appropriate antibiotics for pneumonia symptoms and the secondary outcome was treatment outcomes on day four.
Results
Children in the intervention areas were more likely to receive prompt and appropriate antibiotics for pneumonia symptoms compared to children in the control areas (RR = 3.51, 95%CI = 1.75-7.03). Children in the intervention areas were also less likely to have temperature ≥37.5°C on day four (RR = 0.29, 95%CI = 0.11-0.78). The decrease in fast breathing between day one and four was greater in the intervention (9.2%) compared to the control areas (4.2%, p-value = 0.01).
Conclusions
Integrated community management of malaria and pneumonia increases prompt and appropriate treatment for pneumonia symptoms and improves treatment outcomes.
Trial registration
ISRCTN: ISRCTN52966230
doi:10.1186/1475-2875-12-340
PMCID: PMC3848942  PMID: 24053172
CHW; ICCM; Health System Research; Prompt treatment; Appropriate treatment; Treatment outcomes; Malaria; Pneumonia; Children; CMDs
3.  High burden of hepatitis B infection in Northern Uganda: results of a population-based survey 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:727.
Background
Worldwide 2 billion people are exposed to hepatitis B infection, 350 million have chronic infection, 65 million in sub-Saharan Africa. Uganda is highly endemic with 10% national prevalence of hepatitis B infection, rates varying across the country from 4% in the southwest and 25% in the Northeast. Childhood vaccination was rolled out in 2002, the effect of which on the burden of hepatitis B has not been examined. We determined the prevalence and risk factors for hepatitis B infection in the Northern Uganda Municipality of Gulu.
Methods
We carried out a cross-sectional, population-based survey. The study population included those found at home at the time of recruitment. Data on demographics, wealth index, cultural and behavioral factors, vaccination and health education on hepatitis B were collected. Hepatitis B infection (Hepatitis B surface antigen positive) and lifetime exposure (anti-hepatitis B core antibody positive) were measured. Analysis was done in 2 age groups, 1–14 years, 14 years and more. Associations between predictors and HBV infection were assessed.
Results
Information on 790 respondents were analyzed. Overall, 139/790 (17.6%) had hepatitis B infection and 572/790 (72.4%) lifetime exposure. In the younger age group 16/73 (21.9%) had hepatitis B infection and 35/73 (48%) lifetime exposure. Increasing wealth was protective for infection (OR 0.46 per quartile, 95% CI=0.26-0.82, p=0.009), while older age was protective for lifetime exposure (OR 2.70 per age group, 95% CI 1.03-7.07, p=0.043). In the older age group, overall hepatitis B infection was seen in 123/717 (17.2%) and lifetime exposure in 537/717 (74.9%). The female sex (OR 0.63, 95% CI=0.42-0.98, p=0.032) and increasing age (OR 0.76 per age group, 95% CI=0.64-0.91, p=0.003) were factors associated with infection. For lifetime exposure, increasing number of lifetime sexual partners was a risk factor (OR 1.19 per partner category, 95% CI=1.04-1.38, p=0.012).
Conclusions
We found a high prevalence of hepatitis B infection and lifetime exposures to hepatitis B in this northern Uganda Municipality. Targeted vaccination of susceptible adults and improving existing childhood vaccinations and provision of treatment for those with infection will play roles in reducing the high prevalence rates seen in the population.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-727
PMCID: PMC3751632  PMID: 23919752
4.  High Adherence to Antimalarials and Antibiotics under Integrated Community Case Management of Illness in Children Less than Five Years in Eastern Uganda 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e60481.
Background
Development of resistance to first line antimalarials led to recommendation of artemisinin based combination therapies (ACTs). High adherence to ACTs provided by community health workers (CHWs) gave reassurance that community based interventions did not increase the risk of drug resistance. Integrated community case management of illnesses (ICCM) is now recommended through which children will access both antibiotics and antimalarials from CHWs. Increased number of medicines has been shown to lower adherence.
Objective
To compare adherence to antimalarials alone versus antimalarials combined with antibiotics under ICCM in children less than five years.
Methods
A cohort study was nested within a cluster randomized trial that had CHWs treating children less than five years with antimalarials and antibiotics (intervention areas) and CHWs treating children with antimalarials only (control areas). Children were consecutively sampled from the CHWs' registers in the control areas (667 children); and intervention areas (323 taking antimalarials only and 266 taking antimalarials plus antibiotics). The sampled children were visited at home on day one and four of treatment seeking. Adherence was assessed using self reports and pill counts.
Results
Adherence in the intervention arm to antimalarials alone and antimalarials plus antibiotics arm was similar (mean 99% in both groups) but higher than adherence in the control arm (antimalarials only) (mean 96%). Forgetfulness (38%) was the most cited reason for non-adherence. At adjusted analysis: absence of fever (OR = 3.3, 95%CI = 1.6–6.9), seeking care after two or more days (OR = 2.2, 95%CI = 1.3–3.7), not understanding instructions given (OR = 24.5, 95%CI = 2.7–224.5), vomiting (OR = 2.6, 95%CI = 1.2–5.5), and caregivers' perception that the child's illness was not severe (OR = 2.0, 95%CI = 1.1–3.8) were associated with non-adherence.
Conclusions
Addition of antibiotics to antimalarials did not lower adherence. However, caregivers should be adequately counseled to understand the dosing regimens; continue with medicines even when the child seems to improve; and re-administer doses that have been vomited.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060481
PMCID: PMC3612059  PMID: 23555980
5.  Increased Use of Community Medicine Distributors and Rational Use of Drugs in Children Less than Five Years of Age in Uganda Caused by Integrated Community Case Management of Fever 
We compared use of community medicine distributors (CMDs) and drug use under integrated community case management and home-based management strategies in children 6–59 months of age in eastern Uganda. A cross-sectional study with 1,095 children was nested in a cluster randomized trial with integrated community case management (CMDs treating malaria and pneumonia) as the intervention and home-based management (CMDs treating only malaria) as the control. Care-seeking from CMDs was higher in intervention areas (31%) than in control areas (22%; P = 0.01). Prompt and appropriate treatment of malaria was higher in intervention areas (18%) than in control areas (12%; P = 0.03) and among CMD users (37%) than other health providers (9%). The mean number of drugs among CMD users compared with other health providers was 1.6 versus 2.4 in intervention areas and 1.4 versus 2.3 in control areas. Use of CMDs was low. However, integrated community case management of childhood illnesses increased use of CMDs and rational drug use.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2012.11-0733
PMCID: PMC3748520  PMID: 23136276
6.  Lopinavir/Ritonavir versus Lamivudine peri-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV-1 transmission by breastfeeding: the PROMISE-PEP trial Protocol ANRS 12174 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:246.
Background
Postnatal transmission of HIV-1 through breast milk remains an unsolved challenge in many resource-poor settings where replacement feeding is not a safe alternative. WHO now recommends breastfeeding of infants born to HIV-infected mothers until 12 months of age, with either maternal highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) or peri-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in infants using nevirapine. As PEP, lamivudine showed a similar efficacy and safety as nevirapine, but with an expected lower rate of resistant HIV strains emerging in infants who fail PEP, and lower restrictions for future HIV treatment. Lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) is an attractive PEP candidate with presumably higher efficacy against HIV than nevirapine or lamivudine, and a higher genetic barrier to resistance selection. It showed an acceptable safety profile for the treatment of very young HIV-infected infants. The ANRS 12174 study aims to compare the risk of HIV-1 transmission during and safety of prolonged infant PEP with LPV/r (40/10 mg twice daily if 2-4 kg and 80/20 mg twice daily if >4 kg) versus Lamivudine (7,5 mg twice daily if 2-4 kg, 25 mg twice daily if 4-8 kg and 50 mg twice daily if >8 kg) from day 7 until one week after cessation of BF (maximum 50 weeks of prophylaxis) to prevent postnatal HIV-1 acquisition between 7 days and 50 weeks of age.
Methods
The ANRS 12174 study is a multinational, randomised controlled clinical trial conducted on 1,500 mother-infant pairs in Burkina Faso, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. We will recommend exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) until 26th week of life and cessation of breastfeeding at a maximum of 49 weeks in both trial arms.
HIV-uninfected infants at day 7 (± 2 days) born to HIV-1 infected mothers not eligible for HAART who choose to breastfeed their infants.
The primary endpoint is the acquisition of HIV-1 (as assessed by HIV-1 DNA PCR) between day 7 and 50 weeks of age. Secondary endpoints are safety (including resistance, adverse events and growth) until 50 weeks and HIV-1-free survival until 50 weeks.
Discussion
This study will provide a new evidence-based intervention to support HIV-1-infected women not eligible for HAART to safely breastfeed their babies.
Trial registration number ( http://www.clinicaltrials.gov)
NCT00640263
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-246
PMCID: PMC3482558  PMID: 23039034
7.  Home medication management practices and associated factors among patients with selected chronic diseases in a community pharmacy in Uganda 
Background
Chronic diseases are rapidly increasing and are currently the major cause of death and disability worldwide. Patients with chronic diseases experience many challenges including medicine-related problems. However, there is limited information about the home management of medicines among these patients. This study therefore was to determine home medication management practices and associated factors among patients with chronic diseases seeking care in a community pharmacy in Uganda.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted in a community pharmacy in Kampala from June to July 2010. A total of 207 consenting chronic disease patients or caregivers of children with chronic disease were consecutively sampled. The patients were visited at home to evaluate their drug management practices and to check their medical forms for disease types and drugs prescribed. An interviewer-administered questionnaire and an observation checklist were used to collect the data.
Results
Overall home medication management was inappropriate for 70% (n = 145) of the participants (95% CI = 63.3-76.2) and was associated with perceived severity of disease (not severe OR =0.40, moderately severe OR = 0.35), duration of disease >5 years (OR = 2.15), and health worker not assessing for response to treatment (OR = 2.53). About 52% (n = 107) had inappropriate storage which was associated with inadequate information about the disease (OR = 2.39) and distance to the health facility >5 kilometres (OR = 2.82). Fifteen percent (n = 31) had no drug administration schedule and this was associated with increasing age (OR = 0.97), inadequate information about the disease (OR = 2.96), and missing last appointment for medical review (OR = 6.55). About 9% (n = 18) had actual medication duplication; 1.4% (n = 3) had expired medicines; while 18.4% (n = 38) had drug hoarding associated with increasing number of prescribers (OR = 1.34) and duration of disease (OR = 2.06). About 51% (n = 105) had multiple prescribers associated with perceiving the disease to be non severe (OR = 0.27), and having more than one chronic disease (OR = 2.37).
Conclusions
Patients with chronic disease have poor home management of medicines. In order to limit the occurrence of poor outcomes of treatment or drug toxicity, health providers need to strengthen the education of patients with chronic disease on how to handle their medicines at home.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-323
PMCID: PMC3512480  PMID: 22988920
Home management; Medicines management; Chronic disease
8.  Performance of community health workers under integrated community case management of childhood illnesses in eastern Uganda 
Malaria Journal  2012;11:282.
Background
Curative interventions delivered by community health workers (CHWs) were introduced to increase access to health services for children less than five years and have previously targeted single illnesses. However, CHWs in the integrated community case management of childhood illnesses strategy adopted in Uganda in 2010 will manage multiple illnesses. There is little documentation about the performance of CHWs in the management of multiple illnesses. This study compared the performance of CHWs managing malaria and pneumonia with performance of CHWs managing malaria alone in eastern Uganda and the factors influencing performance.
Methods
A mixed methods study was conducted among 125 CHWs providing either dual malaria and pneumonia management or malaria management alone for children aged four to 59 months. Performance was assessed using knowledge tests, case scenarios of sick children, review of CHWs’ registers, and observation of CHWs in the dual management arm assessing respiratory symptoms. Four focus group discussions with CHWs were also conducted.
Results
CHWs in the dual- and single-illness management arms had similar performance with respect to: overall knowledge of malaria (dual 72%, single 70%); eliciting malaria signs and symptoms (50% in both groups); prescribing anti-malarials based on case scenarios (82% dual, 80% single); and correct prescription of anti-malarials from record reviews (dual 99%, single 100%). In the dual-illness arm, scores for malaria and pneumonia differed on overall knowledge (72% vs 40%, p < 0.001); and correct doses of medicines from records (100% vs 96%, p < 0.001). According to records, 82% of the children with fast breathing had received an antibiotic. From observations 49% of CHWs counted respiratory rates within five breaths of the physician (gold standard) and 75% correctly classified the children. The factors perceived to influence CHWs’ performance were: community support and confidence, continued training, availability of drugs and other necessary supplies, and cooperation from formal health workers.
Conclusion
CHWs providing dual-illness management handled malaria cases as well as CHWs providing single-illness management, and also performed reasonably well in the management of pneumonia. With appropriate training that emphasizes pneumonia assessment, adequate supervision, and provision of drugs and necessary supplies, CHWs can provide integrated treatment for malaria and pneumonia.
doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-282
PMCID: PMC3480882  PMID: 22905758
CHW; ICCM; Health system research; Performance; Malaria; Pneumonia; Children; CMDs
9.  Prevalence and factors associated with traditional herbal medicine use among patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy in Uganda 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:855.
Background
In Africa, herbal medicines are often used as primary treatment for Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) related problems. Concurrent use of traditional herbal medicines (THM) with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) is widespread among HIV infected patients. However, the extent of THM use is not known in most settings in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study aimed at determining the prevalence and factors associated with THM use among HIV infected patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) attending The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) in Uganda. TASO is a non-governmental organization devoted to offering HIV/AIDS care and treatment services in the population.
Methods
This was a cross-sectional study carried out in two TASO treatment centres in Uganda among 401 randomly selected eligible participants. We included participants who were 18 years and above, were enrolled on HAART, and consented to participate in the study. Data was collected using an interviewer-administered semi-structured questionnaire. THM use referred to someone who had ever used or was currently using herbal medicine while on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) by the time of the study. Data was captured in Epi-data version 3.1 and exported to STATA version 9.0 for analysis.
Results
The prevalence of THM use was 33.7%. Patients on HAART for < 4 years were more likely to use THM (OR = 5.98, 95% CI 1.13 - 31.73) as well as those who experienced HAART side effects (OR = 3.66, 95% CI: 1.15 - 11.68). Older patients (≥39 years) were less likely to use THM (OR = 0.26 95% CI: 0.08 - 0.83). Participants with HAART adherence levels > 95% were less likely to use THM (OR = 0.09, 95% CI 0.01 - 0.65).
Conclusion
The prevalence of THM use among participants on HAART was high. This raises clinical and pharmacological concerns that need attention by the health care service providers.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-855
PMCID: PMC3270112  PMID: 22074367
10.  Male partner antenatal attendance and HIV testing in eastern Uganda: a randomized facility-based intervention trial 
Background
The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of a written invitation letter to the spouses of new antenatal clinic attendees on attendance by couples and on male partner acceptance of HIV testing at subsequent antenatal clinic visits.
Methods
The trial was conducted with 1060 new attendees from October 2009 to February 2010 in an antenatal clinic at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital, Mbale District, eastern Uganda. The intervention comprised an invitation letter delivered to the spouses of new antenatal attendees, while the control group received an information letter, a leaflet, concerning antenatal care. The primary outcome measure was the proportion of pregnant women who attended antenatal care with their male partners during a follow-up period of four weeks. Eligible pregnant women were randomly assigned to the intervention or non-intervention groups using a randomization sequence, which was computer generated utilizing a random sequence generator (RANDOM ORG) that employed a simple randomization procedure. Respondents, health workers and research assistants were masked to group assignments.
Results
The trial was completed with 530 women enrolled in each group. Participants were analyzed as originally assigned (intention to treat). For the primary outcome, the percentage of trial participants who attended the antenatal clinic with their partners were 16.2% (86/530) and 14.2% (75/530) in the intervention and non-intervention groups, respectively (OR = 1.2; 95% CI: 0.8, 1.6). For the secondary outcome, most of the 161 male partners attended the antenatal clinic; 82 of 86 (95%) in the intervention group and 68 of 75 (91%) in the non-intervention group were tested for HIV (OR = 2.1; 95% CI: 0.6 to 7.5).
Conclusions
The effect of the intervention and the control on couple antenatal attendance was similar. In addition, the trial demonstrated that a simple intervention, such as a letter to the spouse, could increase couple antenatal clinic attendance by 10%. Significantly, the majority of male partners who attended the antenatal clinic accepted HIV testing. Therefore, to further evaluate this simple and cost-effective intervention method, adequately powered studies are required to assess its effectiveness in increasing partner participation in antenatal clinics and the programme for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01144234.
doi:10.1186/1758-2652-14-43
PMCID: PMC3192699  PMID: 21914207
11.  Validation of World Health Organisation HIV/AIDS Clinical Staging in Predicting Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapy and Clinical Predictors of Low CD4 Cell Count in Uganda 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e19089.
Introduction
The WHO clinical guidelines for HIV/AIDS are widely used in resource limited settings to represent the gold standard of CD4 counts for antiviral therapy initiation. The utility of the WHO-defined stage 1 and 2 clinical factors used in WHO HIV/AIDS clinical staging in predicting low CD4 cell count has not been established in Uganda. Although the WHO staging has shown low sensitivity for predicting CD4<200cells/mm3, it has not been evaluated at for CD4 cut-offs of <250cells/mm3 or <350 cells/mm3.
Objective
To validate the World Health Organisation HIV/AIDS clinical staging in predicting initiation of antiretroviral therapy in a low-resource setting and to determine the clinical predictors of low CD4 cell count in Uganda.
Results
Data was collected on 395 participants from the Joint Clinical Research Centre, of whom 242 (61.3%) were classified as in stages 1 and 2 and 262 (68%) were females. Participants had a mean age of 36.8 years (SD 8.5). We found a significant inverse correlation between the CD4 lymphocyte count and WHO clinical stages. The sensitivity the WHO clinical staging at CD4 cell count of 250 cells/mm3 and 350cells/mm3 was 53.5% and 49.1% respectively. Angular cheilitis, papular pruritic eruptions and recurrent upper respiratory tract infections were found to be significant predictors of low CD4 cell count among participants in WHO stage 1 and 2.
Conclusion
The WHO HIV/AIDS clinical staging guidelines have a low sensitivity and about half of the participants in stages 1 and 2 would be eligible for ART initiation if they had been tested for CD4 count. Angular cheilitis and papular pruritic eruptions and recurrent upper respiratory tract infections may be used, in addition to the WHO staging, to improve sensitivity in the interim, as access to CD4 machines increases in Uganda.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019089
PMCID: PMC3093378  PMID: 21589912
12.  Breastfeeding and the risk of rotavirus diarrhea in hospitalized infants in Uganda: a matched case control study 
BMC Pediatrics  2011;11:17.
Background
Rotavirus is responsible for over 25 million outpatient visits, over 2 million hospitalizations and 527,000 deaths annually, worldwide. It is estimated that breastfeeding in accordance with the World Health Organization recommendations would save 1.45 million children's lives each year in the developing countries. The few studies that examined the effect of breastfeeding on rotavirus diarrhea produced conflicting results. This study aimed to determine the effect of breastfeeding on rotavirus diarrhea among admitted infants in Uganda.
Methods
The study was conducted in the Pediatrics medical emergency unit of a National Referral hospital during a peak incidence time for rotavirus from February to April 2008. It was an age matched case-control study with a ratio of 1:1. We consecutively enrolled infants presenting at the study site during this period whose caretakers consented to participate in the study. A minimum sample size of 90 pairs was adequate with power of 80% to detect a 30% decrease in breastfeeding rate among the cases assuming a breastfeeding rate of 80% in the controls. The infants with rotavirus positive results were the "cases". We used the commercial enzyme immunoassay kit (DAKO IDEIA™ rotavirus EIA detection kit) to diagnose the cases. The "controls" were admitted children with no diarrhea. We compared the cases and controls for antecedent breastfeeding patterns.
Results
Ninety-one matched case-control age-matched pairs with an age caliper of one month were included in the analysis. Breastfeeding was not protective against rotavirus diarrhea (OR 1.08: 95% CI 0.52 - 2.25; p = 0.8) in the conditional logistic model.
Conclusions
Our study findings did not reveal breastfeeding as protective against rotavirus diarrhea in infants. This suggests searching for other complementary preventive methods such as rotavirus vaccination and zinc supplementation to reduce the problem of rotavirus diarrhea in infants irrespective of their feeding practices.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-11-17
PMCID: PMC3049117  PMID: 21329521
13.  Attitudes to routine HIV counselling and testing, and knowledge about prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV in eastern Uganda: a cross-sectional survey among antenatal attendees 
Background
HIV testing rates have exceeded 90% among the pregnant women at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital in Mbale District, eastern Uganda, since the introduction of routine antenatal counselling and testing for HIV in June 2006. However, no documented information was available about opinions of pregnant women in eastern Uganda about this HIV testing approach. We therefore conducted a study to assess attitudes of antenatal attendees towards routine HIV counselling and testing at Mbale Hospital. We also assessed their knowledge about mother to child transmission of HIV and infant feeding options for HIV-infected mothers.
Methods
The study was a cross-sectional survey of 388 women, who were attending the antenatal clinic for the first time with their current pregnancy at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital from August to October 2009. Data were collected using a pre-tested questionnaire and analysed using descriptive statistics and logistic regression. Permission to conduct the study was obtained from the Makerere University College of Health Sciences, the Uganda National Council of Science and Technology, and Mbale Hospital.
Results
The majority of the antenatal attendees (98.5%, 382/388) had positive attitudes towards routine HIV counselling and testing, and many of them (more than 60%) had correct knowledge of how mother to child transmission of HIV could occur during pregnancy, labour and through breastfeeding, and ways of preventing it. After adjusting for independent variables, having completed secondary school (odds ratio: 2.5, 95% confidence interval: 1.3-4.9), having three or more pregnancies (OR: 2.5, 95% CI: 1.4-4.5) and belonging to a non-Bagisu ethnic group (OR: 1.7, 95% CI: 1.0-2.7) were associated with more knowledge of exclusive breastfeeding as one of the measures for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. Out of 388 antenatal attendees, 386 (99.5%) tested for HIV and 382 (98.5%) received same-day HIV test results.
Conclusions
Routine offer of antenatal HIV counselling and testing is largely acceptable to the pregnant women in eastern Uganda and has enabled most of them to know their HIV status as part of the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV package of services. Our findings call for further strengthening and scaling up of this HIV testing approach in many more antenatal clinics countrywide in order to maximize its potential benefits to the population.
doi:10.1186/1758-2652-13-52
PMCID: PMC3017012  PMID: 21144037
14.  Gendered perceptions on infant feeding in Eastern Uganda: continued need for exclusive breastfeeding support 
Background
In resource-poor settings, HIV positive mothers are recommended to choose between 'Exclusive breastfeeding' (EBF) or 'Exclusive replacement feeding' (ERF). Acceptability, Feasibility, Affordability, Sustainability and Safety (AFASS) has been the World Health Organization (WHO)'s a priori criteria for ERF the last ten years. 'AFASS' has become a mere acronym among many workers in the field of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, PMTCT. Thereby, non-breastfeeding has been suggested irrespective of social norms. EBF for the first half of infancy is associated with huge health benefits for children in areas where infant mortality is high. But, even if EBF has been recommended for a decade, few mothers are practicing it. We set out to understand fathers' and mothers' infant feeding perceptions and the degree to which EBF and ERF were 'AFASS.'
Methods
Eight focus groups with 81 informants provided information for inductive content analysis. Four groups were held by men among men and four groups by women among women in Mbale District, Eastern Uganda.
Results
Two study questions emerged: How are the different feeding options understood and accepted? And, what are men's and women's responsibilities related to infant feeding? A mother's commitment to breastfeed and the husband's commitment to provide for the family came out strongly. Not breastfeeding a newborn was seen as dangerous and as unacceptable, except in cases of maternal illness. Men argued that not breastfeeding could entail sanctions by kin or in court. But, in general, both men and women regarded EBF as 'not enough' or even 'harmful.' Among men, not giving supplements to breast milk was associated with poverty and men's failure as providers. Women emphasised lack of time, exhaustion, poverty and hunger as factors for limited breast milk production. Although women had attended antenatal teaching they expressed a need to know more. Most men felt left out from health education.
Conclusion
Breastfeeding was the expected way to feed the baby, but even with existing knowledge among mothers, EBF was generally perceived as impossible. ERF was overall negatively sanctioned. Greater culture-sensitivity in programs promoting safer infant feeding in general and in HIV-contexts in particular is urgently needed, and male involvement is imperative.
Trial Registration
The study was part of formative studies for the ongoing study PROMISE EBF registered at http://clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00397150).
doi:10.1186/1746-4358-5-13
PMCID: PMC2987848  PMID: 20977712
15.  Dramatic and sustained increase in HIV-testing rates among antenatal attendees in Eastern Uganda after a policy change from voluntary counselling and testing to routine counselling and testing for HIV: a retrospective analysis of hospital records, 2002-2009 
Background
The burden of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Uganda is high. The aim of this paper is to describe the experience of the first 7 years of the prevention of mother- to- child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programme in Mbale Regional Hospital, Eastern Uganda, with particular reference to the lessons learnt in changing from voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) to routine counselling and testing (RCT) for HIV testing in antenatal services.
Methods
The study was a retrospective analysis of the PMTCT records of Mbale Regional Referral Hospital, Uganda, from May 2002 to April 2009. The data on HIV testing of pregnant women and their male partners was extracted from the reports and registers using a standardized data extraction form, and data was analysed using descriptive statistics. Permission to conduct the study was obtained from School of Medicine, Makerere University College of Health Sciences; Uganda National Council of Science and Technology, and Mbale Hospital.
Results
A total of 54 429 new antenatal (ANC) attendees and 469 male-partners accessed antenatal services at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital. There was a sustained, significant increase in HIV testing among new ANC attendees from 22% during the VCT period to 88% during the RCT period (p = 0.002), while among male partners, HIV testing increased from 88% to 100% (p = 0.010) However, the overall number of male partners who tested for HIV remained very low despite the change from VCT to RCT approach in HIV testing.
Conclusions
Routine offer of antenatal HIV testing dramatically increased HIV testing in pregnant women and their partners in Uganda. Our findings call for further strengthening of the policy for routine HIV testing in antenatal clinics. Our study also showed that male partner HIV testing in antenatal clinics is low and this area needs further work through research and innovative interventions in order to improve male partner involvement.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-290
PMCID: PMC2964695  PMID: 20946632
16.  The effect of AIDS defining conditions on immunological recovery among patients initiating antiretroviral therapy at Joint Clinical Research Centre, Uganda 
Background
Many HIV-infected patients only access health care once they have developed advanced symptomatic disease resulting from AIDS Defining Conditions (ADCs). We carried out a study to establish the effect of ADCs on immunological recovery among patients initiated on antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Methods
A retrospective cohort of 427 HIV-1 patients who were initiated on ART between January 2002 and December 2006 was studied. Data on ADCs was retrieved from Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC) data base and backed up by chart reviews. We employed Kaplan-Meier survival curves to estimate median time to 50 CD4 cells/μl from the baseline value to indicate a good immunological recovery process. Cox proportional hazard models were used at multivariate analysis.
Results
The median time to gaining 50 CD4 cells/μl from the baseline value after ART initiation was longer in the ADC (9.3 months) compared to the non-ADC group (6.9 months) (log rank test, p = 0.027). At multivariate analysis after adjusting for age, sex, baseline CD4 count, baseline HIV viral load, total lymphocyte count and adherence level, factors that shortened the median time to immunological recovery after ART initiation were belonging to the non-ADC group (HR = 1.31; 95% CI: 1.03–1.28, p = 0.028), adherence to ART of ≥ 95% (HR = 2.22; 95% CI: 1.57–3.15, p = 0.001) and a total lymphocyte count ≥ 1200 cells/mm3 (HR = 1.84; 95% CI: 1.22–2.78, p = 0.003). A low baseline CD4 count of ≤ 200 cells/μl (HR = 0.52; 95% CI: 0.37–0.77, p = 0.001) was associated with a longer time to immunological recovery. There was no interaction between low CD4 counts and ADC group.
Conclusion
Patients with ADCs take longer to regain their CD4 counts due to the defect in the immune system. This may prolong their risk of morbidity and mortality.
doi:10.1186/1742-6405-6-17
PMCID: PMC2731026  PMID: 19630949
17.  Determinants of infant growth in Eastern Uganda: a community-based cross-sectional study 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:418.
Background
Child under-nutrition is a leading factor underlying child mortality and morbidity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Several studies from Uganda have reported impaired growth, but there have been few if any community-based infant anthropometric studies from Eastern Uganda. The aim of this study was to describe current infant growth patterns using WHO Child Growth Standards and to determine the extent to which these patterns are associated with infant feeding practices, equity dimensions, morbidity and use of primary health care for the infants.
Methods
A cross-sectional survey of infant feeding practices, socio-economic characteristics and anthropometric measurements was conducted in Mbale District, Eastern Uganda in 2003; 723 mother-infant (0–11 months) pairs were analysed. Infant anthropometric status was assessed using z-scores for weight-for-length (WLZ), length-for-age (LAZ) and weight-for-age (WAZ). Dependent dichotomous variables were constructed using WLZ < -2 (wasting) and LAZ < -2 (stunting) as cut-off values. A conceptual hierarchical framework was used as the basis for controlling for the explanatory factors in multivariate analysis. Household wealth was assessed using principal components analysis.
Results
The prevalences of wasting and stunting were 4.2% and 16.7%, respectively. Diarrhoea during the previous 14 days was associated with wasting in the crude analysis, but no factors were significantly associated with wasting in the adjusted analysis. The adjusted analysis for stunting showed associations with age and gender. Stunting was more prevalent among boys than girls, 58.7% versus 41.3%. Having brothers and/or sisters was a protective factor against stunting (OR 0.4, 95% CI 0.2–0.8), but replacement or mixed feeding was not (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.0–7.1). Lowest household wealth was the most prominent factor associated with stunting with a more than three-fold increase in odds ratio (OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.6–7.8). This pattern was also seen when the mean LAZ was investigated across household wealth categories: the adjusted mean difference between the top and the bottom wealth categories was 0.58 z-scores, p < 0.001. Those who had received pre-lacteal feeds had lower adjusted mean WLZ than those who had not: difference 0.20 z-scores, p = 0.023.
Conclusion
Sub-optimal infant feeding practices after birth, poor household wealth, age, gender and family size were associated with growth among Ugandan infants.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-418
PMCID: PMC2637269  PMID: 19102755
18.  Good adherence to HAART and improved survival in a community HIV/AIDS treatment and care programme: the experience of The AIDS Support Organization (TASO), Kampala, Uganda 
Background
Poor adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) may result in treatment failure and death. Most reports of the effect of adherence to HAART on mortality come from studies where special efforts are made to provide HAART under ideal conditions. However, there are few reports of the impact of non-adherence to HAART on mortality from community HIV/AIDS treatment and care programmes in developing countries. We therefore conducted a study to assess the effect of adherence to HAART on survival in The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) community HAART programme in Kampala, Uganda.
Methods
The study was a retrospective cohort of 897 patients who initiated HAART at TASO clinic, Kampala, between May 2004 and December 2006. A total of 7,856 adherence assessments were performed on the data. Adherence was assessed using a combination of self-report and pill count methods. Patients who took ≤ 95% of their regimens were classified as non-adherent. The data was stratified at a CD4 count of 50 cells/mm3. Kaplan Meier curves and Cox proportional hazards regression models were used in the analysis.
Results
A total of 701 (78.2%) patients had a mean adherence to ART of > 95%. The crude death rate was 12.2 deaths per 100 patient-years, with a rate of 42.5 deaths per 100 patient-years for non-adherent patients and 6.1 deaths per 100 patient-years for adherent patients. Non-adherence to ART was significantly associated with mortality. Patients with a CD4 count of less than 50 cells/mm3 had a higher mortality (HR = 4.3; 95% CI: 2.22–5.56) compared to patients with a CD4 count equal to or greater than 50 cells/mm3 (HR = 2.4; 95% CI: 1.79–2.38).
Conclusion
Our study showed that good adherence and improved survival are feasible in community HIV/AIDS programmes such as that of TASO, Uganda. However, there is need to support community HAART programmes to overcome the challenges of funding to provide sustainable supplies particularly of antiretroviral drugs; provision of high quality clinical and laboratory support; and achieving a balance between expansion and quality of services. Measures for the early identification and treatment of HIV infected people including home-based VCT and HAART should be strengthened.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-8-241
PMCID: PMC2606686  PMID: 19021908
19.  Voluntary HIV counselling and testing among men in rural western Uganda: Implications for HIV prevention 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:263.
Background
Voluntary HIV counselling and testing (VCT) is one of the key strategies in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS in Uganda. However, the utilization of VCT services particularly among men is low in Kasese district. We therefore conducted a study to determine the prevalence and factors associated with VCT use among men in Bukonzo West health sub-district, Kasese district.
Methods
A population-based cross-sectional study employing both quantitative and qualitative techniques of data collection was conducted between January and April 2005. Using cluster sampling, 780 men aged 18 years and above, residing in Bukonzo West health sub-district, were sampled from 38 randomly selected clusters. Data was collected on VCT use and independent variables. Focus group discussions (4) and key informant interviews (10) were also conducted. Binary logistic regression was performed to determine the predictors of VCT use among men.
Results
Overall VCT use among men was 23.3% (95% CI 17.2–29.4). Forty six percent (95% CI 40.8–51.2) had pre-test counselling and 25.9% (95%CI 19.9–31.9) had HIV testing. Of those who tested, 96% returned for post-test counselling and received HIV results. VCT use was higher among men aged 35 years and below (OR = 2.69, 95%CI 1.77–4.07), the non-subsistence farmers (OR = 2.37, 95%CI 2.37), the couple testing (OR = 2.37, 95%CI 1.02–8.83) and men with intention to disclose HIV test results to sexual partners (OR = 1.64, 95%CI 1.04–2.60). The major barriers to VCT use among men were poor utilization of VCT services due to poor access, stigma and confidentiality of services.
Conclusion
VCT use among men in Bukonzo West, Kasese district was low. In order to increase VCT use among men, the VCT programme needs to address HIV stigma and improve access and confidentiality of VCT services. Among the more promising interventions are the use of routine counselling and testing for HIV of patients seeking health care in health units, home based VCT programmes, and mainstreaming of HIV counselling and testing services in community development programmes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-263
PMCID: PMC2529297  PMID: 18664301
20.  Association between invasive cancer of the cervix and HIV-1 infection in Tanzania: the need for dual screening 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:262.
Background
Cancer of the cervix is the second commonest malignancy in females worldwide and is the leading malignancy among women in Tanzania. Cancer of the cervix has been strongly associated with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which is a sexually transmitted disease. However, the role of HIV-1 in the aetiology of cancer of the cervix is less clear. Studies suggest that HPV and HIV-1 infection are synergistic and therefore their dual occurrence may fuel increased incidence of cancer of the cervix and AIDS. We therefore conducted a study to determine the association between cancer of the cervix and HIV-1.
Methods
The study was carried out in Ocean Road Cancer Institute, Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania between January and March 2007. A hospital-based case control design was used to study 138 cases and 138 controls. The cases were consenting women 18 years and above with histologically confirmed squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix, while the controls were consenting non-cancer adult women attendants or visitors. The participants were counselled and tested for HIV-1 and interviewed to assess risk factors for cancer of the cervix and HIV-1. Estimation of risk was done by computing odds ratios and confidence intervals. Confounding and interaction between the factors were assessed using logistic regression.
Results
HIV-1 prevalence was much higher among the cases (21.0%) than among the controls (11.6%). In logistic regression, HIV-1 was associated with cancer of the cervix (OR = 2.9, 95% CI = 1.4–5.9). Among the cases the mean age was lower for HIV-1 infected (44.3 years) than HIV-1 uninfected women (54 years, p = 0.0001).
Conclusion
HIV-1 infection is associated with invasive cancer of the cervix. Resource-constrained countries with a high burden of HIV-1 and cervical cancer should adopt a high-risk approach that targets HIV-1 positive women for screening of cervical cancer initially by utilizing HIV/AIDS resources.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-262
PMCID: PMC2527006  PMID: 18664298
21.  Intimate partner violence and infant morbidity: evidence of an association from a population-based study in eastern Uganda in 2003 
BMC Pediatrics  2007;7:34.
Background
Although recent studies suggest that there is an association between intimate partner violence and child mortality, the underlying mechanisms are still unknown. It is against this background that as a secondary objective, we set out to explore whether an association exists between intimate partner violence and illness in infants.
Methods
We conducted a population based household survey in Mbale, eastern Uganda in 2003. Participants were 457 women (with 457 infants) who consented to participate in the study. We measured socio-demographics of women and occurrence of intimate partner violence. We measured socio-demographics, immunization, nutritional status, and illness in the previous two weeks of the children.
Results
The mean age of the women was 25 years (SD 5.7) while the mean age of the infants was 6 months (SD 3.5). The prevalence of lifetime intimate partner violence was 54% (95% CI 48%–60%). During the previous two weeks, 50% (95% CI 50%–54%) of the children had illness (fever, diarrhoea, cough and fast breathing). Lifetime intimate partner violence was associated with infant illness (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2–2.8) and diarrhoea (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2–3.4).
Conclusion
Our findings suggest that infant illnesses (fever, diarrhoea, cough and fast breathing) are associated with intimate partner violence, and provide insights into previous reports that have shown an association between intimate partner violence and child mortality, suggesting possible underlying mechanisms. Our findings also highlight the importance of intimate partner violence on the health of children, and the need for further research in this area.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-7-34
PMCID: PMC2186330  PMID: 17988374
22.  Low adherence to exclusive breastfeeding in Eastern Uganda: A community-based cross-sectional study comparing dietary recall since birth with 24-hour recall 
BMC Pediatrics  2007;7:10.
Background
Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended as the best feeding alternative for infants up to six months and has a protective effect against mortality and morbidity. It also seems to lower HIV-1 transmission compared to mixed feeding. We studied infant feeding practices comparing dietary recall since birth with 24-hour dietary recall.
Methods
A cross-sectional survey on infant feeding practices was performed in Mbale District, Eastern Uganda in 2003 and 727 mother-infant (0–11 months) pairs were analysed. Four feeding categories were made based on WHO's definitions: 1) exclusive breastfeeding, 2) predominant breastfeeding, 3) complementary feeding and 4) replacement feeding. We analyzed when the infant fell into another feeding category for the first time. This was based on the recall since birth. Life-table analysis was made for the different feeding categories and Cox regression analysis was done to control for potential associated factors with the different practices. Prelacteal feeding practices were also addressed.
Results
Breastfeeding was practiced by 99% of the mothers. Dietary recall since birth showed that 7% and 0% practiced exclusive breastfeeding by 3 and 6 months, respectively, while 30% and 3% practiced predominant breastfeeding and had not started complementary feeding at the same points in time. The difference between the 24-hour recall and the recall since birth for the introduction of complementary feeds was 46 percentage points at two months and 59 percentage points at four months. Prelacteal feeding was given to 57% of the children. High education and formal marriage were protective factors against prelacteal feeding (adjusted OR 0.5, 0.2 – 1.0 and 0.5, 0.3 – 0.8, respectively).
Conclusion
Even if breastfeeding is practiced at a very high rate, the use of prelacteal feeding and early introduction of other food items is the norm. The 24-hour recall gives a higher estimate of exclusive breastfeeding and predominant breastfeeding than the recall since birth. The 24-hour recall also detected improper infant feeding practices especially in the second half year of life. The dietary recall since birth might be a feasible alternative to monitor infant feeding practices in resource-poor settings. Our study reemphasizes the need for improving infant feeding practices in Eastern Uganda.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-7-10
PMCID: PMC1828054  PMID: 17331251
23.  Caregivers' perceived treatment failure in home-based management of fever among Ugandan children aged less than five years 
Malaria Journal  2006;5:124.
Background
Home-based management of fever (HBMF) could improve prompt access to antimalarial medicines for African children. However, the perception of treatment failure by caregivers has not been assessed.
Methods
Caregiver's perceived treatment outcome in HBMF and in alternative sources of fever treatment was assessed in a rural Ugandan setting using nine hundred and seventy eight (978) caregivers of children between two and 59 months of age, who had reported fever within two weeks prior to the study.
Results
Lower caregivers' perceived treatment failure (15% and 23%) was observed in the formal health facilities and in HBMF, compared to private clinics (38%), drug shops (55%) or among those who used herbs (56%). Under HBMF, starting treatment within 24 hours of symptoms onset and taking treatment for the recommended three days duration was associated with a lower perceived treatment failure. Conversely, vomiting, convulsions and any illness in the month prior to the fever episode was associated with a higher perceived treatment failure.
Conclusion
In this medium malaria transmission setting, caregiver's perceived treatment outcome was better in HBMF compared to alternative informal sources of treatment.
doi:10.1186/1475-2875-5-124
PMCID: PMC1716175  PMID: 17173675
24.  Intimate partner violence against women in eastern Uganda: implications for HIV prevention 
BMC Public Health  2006;6:284.
Background
We were interested in finding out if the very low antenatal VCT acceptance rate reported in Mbale Hospital was linked to intimate partner violence against women. We therefore set out to i) determine the prevalence of intimate partner violence, ii) identify risk factors for intimate partner violence and iii) look for association between intimate partner violence and HIV prevention particularly in the context of the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV programme (PMTCT).
Methods
The study consisted of a household survey of rural and urban women with infants in Mbale district, complemented with focus group discussions with women and men. Women were interviewed on socio-demographic characteristics of the woman and her husband, antenatal and postnatal experience related to the youngest child, antenatal HIV testing, perceptions regarding the marital relationship, and intimate partner violence. We obtained ethical approval from Makerere University and informed consent from all participants in the study.
Results
During November and December 2003, we interviewed 457 women in Mbale District. A further 96 women and men participated in the focus group discussions. The prevalence of lifetime intimate partner violence was 54% and physical violence in the past year was 14%. Higher education of women (OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.1–0.7) and marriage satisfaction (OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.1–0.7) were associated with lower risk of intimate partner violence, while rural residence (OR 4.4, 95% CI 1.2–16.2) and the husband having another partner (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.02–5.7) were associated with higher risk of intimate partner violence. There was a strong association between sexual coercion and lifetime physical violence (OR 3.8, 95% CI 2.5–5.7). Multiple partners and consumption of alcohol were major reasons for intimate partner violence. According to the focus group discussions, women fear to test for HIV, disclose HIV results, and request to use condoms because of fear of intimate partner violence.
Conclusion
Intimate partner violence is common in eastern Uganda and is related to gender inequality, multiple partners, alcohol, and poverty. Accordingly, programmes for the prevention of intimate partner violence need to target these underlying factors. The suggested link between intimate partner violence and HIV risky behaviours or prevention strategies calls for further studies to clearly establish this relationship.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-6-284
PMCID: PMC1660563  PMID: 17116252
25.  Antenatal HIV testing in rural eastern Uganda in 2003: incomplete rollout of the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV programme? 
Background
Uganda began to implement the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV programme in 2000, and by the end of 2003 it had expanded to cover 38 of the 56 districts including Mbale District. However, reports from Mbale Hospital showed that less than 10% of pregnant women accepted antenatal HIV testing. We therefore conducted a study to determine the proportion of pregnant women who tested for HIV and the gaps and barriers in PMTCT implementation.
Methods
The study was a cross sectional household survey of women aged 18 years or more, with children aged one year or less, who resided in Mbale Town or in the surrounding Bungokho County. We also conducted in-depth interviews with six health workers in Mbale Hospital.
Results
In 2003, we interviewed 457 women with a median age of 24 years. The prevalence of antenatal HIV testing was 10 percent. The barriers to antenatal HIV testing were unavailability of voluntary counselling and testing services (44%), lack of HIV counselling (42%) and perceived lack of benefits for HIV infected women and their infants. Primipara (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.2–5.8), urban dwellers (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.3–5.8), women having been counselled on HIV (OR 6.2, 95% CI 2.9–13.2), and women with husbands being their primary confidant (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.0–5.5) were independently associated with HIV testing.
Conclusion
The major barriers to PMTCT implementation were unavailability of PMTCT services, particularly in rural clinics, and poor antenatal counselling and HIV testing services. We recommend that the focus of the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV programme should shift to the district and sub-district levels, strengthen community mobilization, improve the quality of antenatal voluntary counselling and HIV testing services, use professional and peer counsellors to augment HIV counselling, and ensure follow-up care and support for HIV positive women and their infants.
doi:10.1186/1472-698X-6-6
PMCID: PMC1533856  PMID: 16670031

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