Original Articles

Knowledge and perception of HIV/AIDS among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in Ogun State, Nigeria


Abstract

Mother-to-child transmission of HIV (MTCT) is responsible for more than 90% of the cases of HIV infection in infants and children in sub-Saharan Africa. Accurate data on the knowledge and perceptions of HIV/AIDS among women attending antenatal clinics in Nigeria are scarce. A cross-sectional survey of 804 women attending antenatal clinics in Ogun State, South-West Nigeria was done using interviewer-administered questionnaires. Approximately 90% of the women respondents had heard of HIV/AIDS, but only about 27% knew HIV could be transmitted from mother to child; of those, almost 94% believed in the reality of HIV disease; in contrast, the majority (64%) believed they were not at risk of HIV infection, and a slightly greater proportion (70%) did not understand the benefits of voluntary HIV counselling and testing (VCT). Nonetheless, almost 90% of respondents were willing to know their status following health education about VCT. Those that were older, attending public hospitals, and with a higher level of education had more knowledge and better perceptions about HIV. The results suggest an urgent need for public health education on HIV/AIDS and the benefits of VCT to control MTCT, particularly targeting young women and those with little or no education.

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