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Patient-Reported Factors Facilitating Participation in Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV Programs in Kara, Togo, West Africa

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DOI: 10.4236/wja.2014.44053    3,389 Downloads   4,126 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Background: Despite efforts to expand prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV in resource-limited settings, only 53% of women in sub-Saharan Africa receive adequate PMTCT services. Understanding factors that enable successful program completion are crucial to improving adherence rates to PMTCT programs in these settings. Using a positive deviance approach, we explored patient and provider’s perspectives on factors enabling women to successfully access and adhere to PMTCT services to identify areas of program improvement and further reduce HIV transmission. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 health care workers (HCWs) at two health centers in Kara, Togo and 34 women who had successfully completed the PMTCT program at those facilities. Women were identified using purposive sampling and content theme analysis was used to analyze the data. Results: Knowledge and belief in the potential to give birth to an HIV-negative child, supported by facilitating factors on the individual and community levels, was the cornerstone to women’s PMTCT program success. Effective program education and peer-to-peer interactions fostered the participants’ knowledge and belief in PMTCT, with the resulting internal motivation driving continued participation and adherence. The welcoming environment, availability of peer support groups and financial assistance from the health facility, further facilitated success, with women using this facility-based community to seek advice and support from HCWs and peers. Financial, physical, and emotional support from relatives was also important in ensuring unhindered access. Finally, the faith-based communities’ acceptance and support for HIV-positive women further encouraged participants to adhere to the program. Conclusion: Understanding and believing in the ability to have an HIV-negative baby was the most important facilitator for PMTCT program adherence. This led to internal motivation that was continually reinforced through facility and community supportive environments focused on addressing barriers. Efforts to improve PMTCT success should focus on all of these factors through a patient-centered approach.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Loccoh, E. , Azouma, D. , Jr., K. , Schechter, J. , Gbeleou, S. and Hirschhorn, L. (2014) Patient-Reported Factors Facilitating Participation in Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV Programs in Kara, Togo, West Africa. World Journal of AIDS, 4, 446-457. doi: 10.4236/wja.2014.44053.

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