Author(s): Ikechebelu JI, Ugboaja JO, Kalu SO, Ugochukwu EF, Ikechebelu JI, Ugboaja JO, Kalu SO, Ugochukwu EF
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Abstract BACKGROUND: A lot of challenges face the current efforts at reducing Mother to Child transmission of HIV infection (MTCT) in Sub Saharan Africa due to limited access to Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and breast feeding practices. A regular review of progress is necessary in order to identify areas of need. METHOD: This is a one year prospective descriptive study of seven hundred and twenty six mother-infant pairs managed in the PMTCT programme in Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi Southeast Nigeria. The babies HIV status was tested with PCR for HIV DNA while the mothers provided information on infant feeding pattern and the use of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs including prophylaxis for the baby. Information was augmented from the antenatal records. RESULT: The transmission rate was 2.8\% for mothers, who were on HAART, did not breastfeed and whose babies received ARV prophylactic therapy. But for mothers who did not receive HAART, did breastfeed and whose babies did not received ARV prophylactic therapy, the transmission rate was 37.5\%. When both the mother and child received ARV drugs, the transmission rate was significantly lower in those who did not breastfeed (2.8\%) than in those who breastfed (12.5\%)(P < 0.001). When both the mother and child did not receive ARV drugs, the transmission rate significantly lower in those who did not breastfeed (21.1\%)than in those who breastfed (37.5\%) (P < 0.02). CONCLUSION: The use of HAART in PMTCT programme in the under resourced areas can achieve similar success rates to that in the industrialized countries. Breastfeeding reduces the efficacy achieved by the use of ARV drugs. Provision of wider access to HAART as well as adequate counselling and support for safer infant feeding practices is recommended.
This article was published in Niger J Med
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research