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Title: Social concerns related to HIV status disclosure and participation in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV care among pregnant women in Kenya
Authors: Nordberg, Björn
Erin, E. Gabriel
Were, Edwin
Kaguiri, Eunice
Kågesten, Anna
Rautiainen, Susanne
Ekström, Anna Mia
Keywords: HIV
Pregnant women
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Springer
Abstract: Background: Social concerns about unintentional HIV status disclosure and HIV-related stigma are barriers to pregnant women’s access to prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) care. There is limited quantitative evidence of women’s social and emotional barriers to PMTCT care and HIV disclosure. We aimed to investigate how social concerns related to participation in PMTCT care are associated with HIV status disclosure to partners and relatives among pregnant women living with HIV in western Kenya. Methods: A cross-sectional study, including 437 pregnant women living with HIV, was carried out at enrolment in a multicentre mobile phone intervention trial (WelTel PMTCT) in western Kenya. Women diagnosed with HIV on the day of enrolment were excluded. To investigate social concerns and their association with HIV disclosure we used multivariable- adjusted logistic regression, adjusted for sociodemographic and HIV-related characteristics, to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: The majority (80%) had disclosed their HIV status to a current partner and 46% to a relative. Older women (35– 44 years) had lower odds of disclosure to a partner (OR = 0.15; 95% CI: 0.05–0.44) compared to women 18–24 years. The most common social concern was involuntary HIV status disclosure (reported by 21%). Concern about isolation or lack of support from family or friends was reported by 9%, and was associated with lower odds of disclosure to partners (OR = 0.33; 95% CI: 0.12–0.85) and relatives (OR = 0.37; 95% CI: 0.16–0.85). Concern about separation (reported by 5%; OR = 0.17; 95% CI: 0.05–0.57), and concern about conflict with a partner (reported by 5%; OR = 0.18; 95% CI: 0.05–0.67), was associated with lower odds of disclosure to a partner.Conclusions: Compared to previous reports from Kenya, our estimated disclosure rate to a partner is higher, suggesting a possible improvement over time in disclosure. Younger pregnant women appear to be more likely to disclose, suggesting a possible decreased stigma and more openness about HIV among younger couples. Healthcare providers and future interventional studies seeking to increase partner disclosure should consider supporting women regarding their concerns about isolation, lack of support, separation, and conflict with a partner. PMTCT care should be organized to ensure women’s privacy and confidentiality.
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