Assessment of Intention and Practice of VCT And Infant Feeding In the Context of HIV/AIDs Among Lactating Mothers in Harar Town

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Addis Abeba university


Introduction: - Mother-to-child transmission of HIV is the most significant route of HIV infection in children and by far the largest source of HIV infection in children below the age of 15 years Objectives: - the aim of this study was to assess current practices and future intention of lactating mothers on VCT and infant feeding in relation to prevention of MTCT of HIV in Harar town. Methods: - A community based cross sectional quantitative survey supplemented with a qualitative method was conducted from January to February 2006 using standardized questionnaire, among lactating mothers in Harar town selected using probability proportional to size. Results: - Lactating mothers had good knowledge of HIV/AIDS but fair knowledge on MTCT and PMTCT of HIV. Intention to undergo VCT had significant association with knowledge about PMTCT. Practices of VCT had significant association with age of mothers, parity, frequency of ANC check-up, HIV knowledge, PMTCT knowledge and attitude towards PLWHA. Conclusion: - There is a high intention to undergo VCT whereas only few mothers have undergone the test, indicating a wide gap between intention and practice. The mothers’ breast feeding practice in the context of HIV and nutrition is risky as suboptimal breast feeding practices are widespread. Recommendation: - Increasing utilization of MTCT, PMTCT, and VCT including optimal infant feeding requires IEC and BCC. Information, Education Communication (IEC) and Behavioural Change Communication (BCC) on VCT, MTCT, PMTCT and infant feeding shall be strengthened. Establish communication/ referral network between health facilities and organizations working on HIV/AIDS, vi i working towards alleviating the problem that social stigma poses on mothers’ adoption of safer infant feeding options to prevent MTCT of HIV and full day VCT services shall be made available for mothers seeking delivery services in hospitals to minimize missed opportunities.



Feeding In the Context of HIV/AIDS