Consequences of Missed Opportunities for HIV Testing during Pregnancy and Delayed Diagnosis for Mexican Women, Children and Male Partners
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CitationKendall, Tamil. 2014. “Consequences of Missed Opportunities for HIV Testing during Pregnancy and Delayed Diagnosis for Mexican Women, Children and Male Partners.” PLoS ONE 9 (11) (November 5): e109912. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0109912. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0109912.
AbstractIntroduction: HIV testing during pregnancy permits prevention of vertical (mother-to-child) transmission and provides an opportunity for women living with HIV to access treatment for their own health. In 2001, Mexico’s National HIV Action Plan committed to universal offer of HIV testing to pregnant women, but in 2011, only 45.6% of women who attended antenatal care (ANC) were tested for HIV. The study objective was to document the consequences of missed opportunities for HIV testing and counseling during pregnancy and late HIV diagnosis for Mexican women living with HIV and their families. Methods: Semi-structured-interviews with 55 women living with HIV who had had a pregnancy since 2001 were completed between 2009 and 2011. Interviews were analyzed thematically using a prioriand inductive codes. Results: Consistent with national statistics, less than half of the women living with HIV (42%) were offered HIV testing and counseling during ANC. When not diagnosed during ANC, women had multiple contacts with the health-care system due to their own and other family members’ AIDS-related complications before being diagnosed. Missed opportunities for HIV testing and counseling during antenatal care and health-care providers failure to recognize AIDS-related complications resulted in pediatric HIV infections, AIDS-related deaths of children and male partners, and HIV disease progression among women and other family members. In contrast, HIV diagnosis permitted timely access to interventions to prevent vertical HIV transmission and long-term care and treatment for women living with HIV. Conclusions: Omissions of the offer of HIV testing and counseling in ANC and health-care providers’ failure to recognize AIDS-related complications had negative health, economic and emotional consequences. Scaling-up provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling within and beyond antenatal care and pre-service and in-service trainings on HIV and AIDS for health-care providers can hasten timely HIV diagnosis and contribute to improved individual and public health in Mexico.
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