EFFECT OF HEALTH EDUCATION ON HIV COUNSELLING AND TESTING (HCT) FOR ANTENATAL CLIENTS IN ABEOKUTA SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF OGUN STATE, NIGERIA
The study was carried out to determine the effect of health education on HIV counseling and testing (HCT) for antenatal clients in Abeokuta South LGA, Ogun State.
Context: Voluntary counseling and testing service is not making appreciable progress as shown by the low turnout of people who did not know their HIV status and also those who wished to know their HIV status. HCT remains an important entry point into other services provided for HIV/AIDS including care, support, antiretroviral treatment, reduction of infection mother to child transmission and clinical management of HIV related illness e.g. tuberculosis.
Method: The study took place in Abeokuta South and Sagamu Local Government Areas of Ogun State. The respondents were antenatal clinic attendees in primary health care centres of both local government areas. The study was in three stages. The first stage was a baseline (pre - intervention) study of antenatal clinic attendees in Abeokuta South Local Government Area and Sagamu Local Government Area. The research instrument was a questionnaire. During the second stage, antenatal clinic attendees in Abeokuta South Local Government only were given health education on HIV/AIDS, HCT, ART and PMTCT. The ANC attendees in Sagamu LGA were given health education on malaria in pregnancy. The third stage was an immediate post comparative study of the respondents in both Local Government Areas. The same questionnaire was used for comparability. A three months post – study was also carried out on antenatal clinic attendees in both the intervention group and the control groups, using the same questionnaire.
Results: The women in the control and experimental groups were comparable because there was no statistically significant difference in their demographic characteristics at baseline.
Analysis of the pre – intervention responses of the two groups showed that there was no statistically significant difference in the baseline awareness of HIV and AIDS and pregnancy between the two groups. Only 88.3% of respondents in the study group had heard of HCT at baseline compared to 80.3% in the control group. Only 45.8% of respondents in the study group had gone for HCT at baseline compared to 35.0% in the control group. This improved with intervention to 88.3% in the study group. This also is statistically significant p = 0.000. The result showed a high number of respondents who knew that a pregnant woman could have HIV infection in both the control and the intervention group (95.5% and 93.3% respectively). In the intervention group there was increase in the number of respondents who had heard of PMTCT services 44.2% to 97.5% after intervention compared to the baseline. Knowledge of awareness of HIV and AIDS in pregnancy rose from 91.7% to 100.0%. There was also a statistical significance difference in the baseline comparison of awareness of whether an HIV positive woman can transmit HIV to her unborn child at baseline p = 0.592 compared to immediate post intervention result which showed p = 0.006 in the study group, this was statistically significant.
Conclusion: Education on HCT and most especially PMTCT can improve knowledge, which will ultimately translate to use of these services and further reduce the transmission of the virus from mother to child; thereby preventing HIV/AIDS in future generations.