Knowledge of prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) and adherence to PMTCT test and treat strategy among HIV positive pregnant women

Doreen Macherera Mukona


Background: In 2013, an estimated 24, 7 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa were living with HIV, accounting for 71% of the global total. There were 1. 5 million new HIV infections and 1.1 million related deaths in the same year. More than 90% of HIV infection in children are due to Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT) with at least two thirds occurring during pregnancy, delivery and during breast feeding.1 Seven hundred and twenty thousand women are living with HIV, 70000 of which are pregnant. Adherence is key in achieving the goal of PMTCT Test and Treat Strategy.

Material and methods: The study utilised a descriptive correlational design with a random systematic sample of 120 HIV positive women on ART at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals. Approval for the study was granted by respective ethical review boards. All participants gave written informed consent. Interviews were conducted in a private room and the researcher had sole access to filled-in questionnaires that were kept in a lockable cupboard.  Data were collected from March to April 2017. Data were analysed with SPSS version 20.


Results: Mean knowledge of PMTCT was 91% with 53.3% having high knowledge. Mean adherence was 86% and 16.7% participants had high adherence (>95%) to PMTCT. Pearson’s correlation co-efficient r was 0.184. Regression analysis R2 was 0.340. The major challenge of adherence was stigma reported by 53.3% participants. Possible solutions suggested were disclosure (95%), health education on PMTCT (95%), and partner involvement in testing and booking for ANC (83.3%).   

Conclusion: Knowledge of PMTCT was high. Adherence to PMTCT Test and Treat Strategy was sub optimal and there was a weak positive relationship between knowledge and adherence to PMTCT.

Keywords: Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission; HIV positive; pregnancy; Antiretroviral therapy; adherence

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DOI Prefix: 10.20286