Ajayi B. B.*, Moses A. E. , Ajayi O. D., Ademoyegun J. K. AND Chama C. M.
Apart from heterosexual route, mother-to-child transmission is the next most important route of HIV transmission accounting for over 90% of infections in children.This retrospective study is aimed at assessing the prevalence trend of HIV infection among pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic of University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital in Northeast Nigeria within a five year period, 2005-2009. Pregnant women who consented to HIV testing after receiving voluntary counseling were tested for HIV using the parallel rapid testing algorithm with support PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief). Of a total of 9018 pregnant women tested, 722 (8.0%) were found to be HIV positive with the highest prevalence occurring in 2007 (9.5%) while, the lowest was noted in 2009 (6.2%). The rate of decline in HIV prevalence between 2008 and 2009 was about 2-fold compared to previous years. There was an initial increase in the HIV prevalence in 2005 (7.1%), peaked at 9.5% in 2007 and then decline in 2009 (6.2%). There was a consistent increase in HIV prevalence with age. However, teenage pregnant women within the age bracket of 10 – 14 years had the highest rate of infection (23.5%) over the years. In conclusion, HIV prevalence increased by about 4-fold higher than the earlier reports. The implication of early marriage in this part of the country vis-à-vis teenage pregnancy as observed in this study has grievous implications to the success of HIV prevention programmes. Innovative strategies and approach such as integration of reproductive health and HIV services is hereby recommended to cater for cases of early marriage and teenage pregnant mothers. Efforts should be consolidated to further stem the HIV scourge among pregnant women.
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