Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is now a serious global public health emergency1. Arisegi, Awosan, Abdulsamad, and Adamu are young women who continue to have disproportionately high rates of new HIV infections in Sub-Saharan Africa despite worldwide advances in reducing HIV/AIDS incidence and mortality (2017). Sub-Saharan Africa is home to nine out of 10 women and children who have HIV3. Nigeria represents for 30% of the global burden of mother-to-child HIV transmission (MTCT), which is an unacceptablely high incidence (Arisegi S, Awosan KJ, Abdulsamad H, Adamu) (2017). HIV/AIDS affects 220000 children in Nigeria between the ages of 0 and 14 in 2017. (2020). Nigeria has a significant burden of MTCT of HIV due to high HIV prevalence in women of reproductive age and insufficient MTCT preventive coverage. Dadi, Addis, Assefa Tessema, and Birhane (2015) found that during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or breastfeeding, an HIV-positive mother may transmit the virus to her unborn child. Assefa Tessema, Dadi, Addis, and Birhane (2015).
90% of HIV infections in children have been reported to have originated from these primary entrance sources. PMTCT, which is recommended as a strategy of almost eradicating pediatric HIV and lowering the proportion of MTCT of HIV, is one of the largest advancements in public health in recent years. De Paoli, Falnes, Tylleskär, Manongi, R., and Engebretsen (2010). The World Health Organization (WHO) supports a thorough approach for PMTCT programs that includes preventing new HIV infections among women of childbearing age, preventing unintended pregnancies among WLHIV, preventing HIV transmission from a woman living with HIV to her baby, and offering appropriate treatment, care, and support to mothers living with HIV and their children and families. Falnes EF, de Paoli, Engebretsen, Tylleskär, and Manongi (2010).
The use of antenatal services, antenatal HIV testing, antenatal ART use, safe childbirth practices, appropriate infant feeding, infant HIV testing, and other post-natal healthcare services are just a few of the interventions or services that women and their infants must receive in order for PMTCT programs to be successful. Megerssa, Feyera, and Legesse (2018).
Using PMTCT services could make MTCT of HIV less frequent for WLHIV. Using PMTCT services is linked to decreased rates of MTCT or a lower chance of a child contracting HIV from the mother, per research. Agyei-Baffour, Kwapong GD, and Boateng D (2013). Healthcare establishments all across the globe, besides Nigeria, provide PMTCT services. Even though these treatments are accessible, PMTCT services are not being used to their full potential. Ageda, Angilájé, and more (2016).
According to the National Agency for Prevention of AIDS, only 59010 of the estimated 246896 children living with HIV in Nigeria were getting treatment in the first quarter of 2017. (NACA, 2017). Antiretroviral drugs were given to around 50,000 HIV-positive pregnant women to prevent MTCT of HIV, and by the middle of 2017, 25% of HIV-positive children were getting antiretroviral therapy. It was also shown that 12 states in Nigeria, including Oyo state, had the highest unmet demand for PMTCT. 10000 pregnant women in Oyo State are HIV positive, according to the director of NACA (as reported in Daily Trust, 2017); there are gaps between those who are infected and those who are receiving treatment; and around 50 people in the state get HIV on a daily basis. Also, there weren’t enough resources for referral networks, early neonatal diagnostic coverage, and viral load testing (NACA, 2017).
Just a few of the variables that have been connected to its utilization include knowledge, perception, and accessibility to PMTCT services. Many studies have shown that understanding and perception of health care are key components and factors in the adoption of such services. Radio Owoaje and Balogun (2016). Women’s knowledge of ART, MTCT, and PMTCT services varied from good to inadequate, according to studies. Feteh VF, Tanyi JT, Sama CB, Tindong M, and Bihle (2017). Women were seen to be crucial in the uptake of PMTCT services if they were sufficiently knowledgeable of MTCT and PMTCT, but women who were not sufficiently informed were more likely to default on ART. So, a pregnant woman’s knowledge of the MTCT of HIV has an impact on the child’s exposure to HIV. As earlier studies had inconsistent findings and were not carried out in the study location, it was required to evaluate the situation there.
Also, how people utilize PMTCT services will depend on how they see HIV and MTCT. Research that discovered a link between women’s views and the usage of PMTCT services Sitohang supports this (2017). Thus, it’s critical to assess the information and practices pregnant women employ to prevent illness transmission from mother to kid.
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