Acceptance of HIV Counselling & Testing Among Pregnant Women in the Kumasi Metropolis

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In Ghana, as in most parts of Africa, south of the Sahara, HIV/AIDS account for a lot of mortality and morbidity in children. Children born to infected mothers acquire infection and progress to clinical diseases. This mother-to-child-Transmission (MTCT), accounts for most of the cases in children less than 15 years. To help address this problem, the Ghana National Policy on HIV/AIDS and STIs has come out with strategies that include the use of routine Counseling and Testing (CT) as a tool for the prevention of MTCT (PMTCT). The main objective of this study was to determine the level of acceptance of this routine HIV CT, as well as factors associated with acceptance among pregnant women in Kumasi Metropolis. The study was a descriptive cross-sectional type, with structured questionnaire as the data collection tool served on 200 pregnant women attending Antenatal Clinic (ANC) in the Kumasi Metropolis. The sampling frame was pregnant women attending ANC at the three hospitals in the metropolis. The 200 ANC attendants were selected by a systematic random sampling technique. Findings include a high level of acceptance, with 87.5% of respondents accepting to undergo HIV testing either before or after counseling. The effects of socio-demographic characteristics on acceptance of HIV CT were not statistically significant. The knowledge level of pregnant women on HIV/AIDS and Prevention of mother to Child transmission (PMTCT) significantly affected HIV CT acceptance (p = 0.000): Those with adequate knowledge levels were twenty four times more likely to accept HIV CT than those with inadequate knowledge levels. Seeking Spousal permission did not significantly affect acceptance (p= 0.86). However, spousal involvement significantly encouraged HIV CT (p = 0.04) Given the high, level of acceptance which is consistent with high acceptance levels in some African studies, the existing strategy of routine HIV CT, as a tool for PMTCT of HIV, should be sustained, and if possible improved upon.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of MPH degree in Population and Reproductive Health.