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Free Content Factors predicting uptake of voluntary counselling and testing in a real-life setting in a mother-and-child center in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

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Summary Objective 

To identify factors predicting uptake of voluntary HIV counselling and testing in pregnant women. Methods 

All pregnant women receiving ante-natal group health education at St Camille Medical Center, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from 1 May 2002 to 30 April 2004 were offered voluntary HIV counselling and testing. If they consented, the women were pre-test counselled, tested by two rapid tests giving immediate results and post-test counselled. Results 

Less than one-fifth of pregnant women [1216/6639 (18.3%, CI 17.4–19.3%)] accepted voluntary HIV counselling and testing, mainly at the first ante-natal visit (83.4%) and at early gestational age (73.4% before week 24). The HIV seroprevalence rate was 10.6% (8.8–12.5%). The uptake rate was independently associated with age, the number of previous pregnancies and the number of previous miscarriages. Conclusions 

Our two-step approach of group education followed by voluntary HIV counselling and testing yielded a low uptake rate in this setting. However, the drop-out rate after enrolling in the programme was nearly zero. The timing of programme uptake would permit implementation of earlier prophylactic courses. Effective scaling-up of voluntary HIV counselling and testing outside the clinical trial requires a mass sensibilization campaign pointing out the programme's benefits and addressing the stigma of HIV. The independent value of age and previous obstetrical episodes show how important social factors are in influencing the voluntary HIV counselling and testing uptake rate.

Keywords: HIV; predictive factors; voluntary counselling and testing

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: St Camille Medical Center, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 2: Family Health Directorate, Ministry of Health, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 3: Chair of Pediatrics, University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 4: Centre Muraz, Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso 5: Institute for Infectious and Tropical Diseases, University of Brescia, Italy

Publication date: 2006-03-01

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