THE PREVALENCE AND DETERMINANTS OF FEMALE SERO- DISCORDANCE AMONG PREGNANT HIV POSITIVE WOMEN ATTENDING PMTCT CLINIC IN FEDERAL MEDICAL CENTER OWERRI, SOUTH- EASTERN NIGERIA
Several studies have shown high prevalence of HIV sero-discordance among heterosexual couples in Africa. There is evidence that married or cohabitating sero- discordant couples are important source of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa. This study, therefore, was undertaken to determine the prevalence of female sero-discordance, and assess the possible socio-demographic, behavioral, clinical and laboratory parameters that may be significantly associated with female sero-discordance among HIV positive women attending PMTCT clinic in Federal Medical Center Owerri, Imo state Nigeria. The findings, it is hoped, will provide more insight on the dynamics of HIV transmission among discordant couples with the view of stemming incidence of HIV infection.
STUDY DESIGN, SETTING AND SUBJECTS
This was a cross sectional study of pregnant women (and their partners) who tested positive to HIV I and II at the PMTCT clinic.
Data were collected from questionnaire and laboratory. It was computed and analyzed using computer software package for social sciences version 20 (SPSS, Inc. USA).The results were presented using tables, pie charts and bar charts. P- values< 0.05 at 95% confidence interval were considered statistically significant.RESULTS
A total of 106 HIV positive pregnant women (and their partners) were studied. The prevalence of female serodiscordance was 63.2%. Sero-discordance rate for the lower, middle, and upper classes were 50%, 76.1% and 100% respectively, and was statistically significant (p= 0.007). Condom use was significantly associated with female serodiscondance (P=0.002). CD4+ count of the female partner at booking was also found statistically significantly associated with female serodiscordance (p=0.009).
This study has shown a high prevalence of female serodiscordance among HIV positive pregnant women in FMC Owerri. The possibility that women are more vulnerable to HIV infection than men is high. Higher social class, condom use and high female- partner CD4+ count has been shown to be significantly associated with female sero-discordance.