MPhil study projects

An investigation of the contributing factors in new HIV infections at Katutura Hospital in children from birth to two years old after implementation of elimination of mother-to-child transmission protocols

Student: Patsva A Madzokere
Country: Zimbabwe

Mother-to-child transmission of HIV during pregnancy, labour, delivery or breastfeeding remains a concern, despite widespread antiretroviral therapy (ART) usage among HIV-positive pregnant women, as evidenced by Namibia’s 4,1% transmission rate.

Conducted at Katutura State Hospital in Namibia, this study aimed to identify factors contributing to new HIV infections in children aged 0-2 years. Employing a retrospective research approach with quantitative methods, the study focused on pregnant women whose infants tested positive for HIV by June 2018 and who received antenatal care (ANC) at the hospital.

The majority of women (55,8%) did not know their partners’ HIV status, while 32,6% had HIV-positive partners and only 11,6% had confirmed HIV-negative partners. Women receiving ANC in the first three months of pregnancy demonstrated higher postnatal adherence rates (81%-100%) compared to those attending later, with the latter group mostly exhibiting adherence rates between 41% and 60%.

The study underscores adherence as a significant factor contributing to ongoing HIV transmission from mothers to children. The lack of partner HIV status awareness may lead to recurrent infections, even among women with high adherence rates.