Comparison of HIV-positive women with children and without children accessing HIV care and treatment in the IeDEA Central Africa cohort.
Nov 22 2011
Globally, women comprise half of all people living with HIV, but in sub-Saharan Africa, women are disproportionately affected. Data were obtained from 8419 HIV-infected women at enrollment into 10 HIV treatment programs in Cameroon, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as part of the Central Africa region of the International Epidemiological Database to Evaluate AIDS. We used chi-squared tests to determine if distributions between women with children differed from those without children, in regards to socio-demographic, behavioral and clinical characteristics. Logistic regression was used to determine if motherhood was associated with medication adherence. Of 8419 women, 81.7% had living children. The majority entered care through voluntary testing, and very few entered care through prevention of mother-to-child transmission programs. Women with children were older and more likely to be widowed, more likely to have no formal education and less likely to have attended university than those without children (p<0.05). Women without children were more likely to live in a home with electricity and potable water (p<0.05). There was no difference in adherence between these groups. However, women older than 50 years, those who reported no drug, tobacco, or alcohol use, and those with higher levels of formal education were more likely to report adherence along with those who had been on treatment for more than two years (p<0.05). As women account for a substantial proportion of HIV cases in sub-Saharan Africa, a broader understanding of their characteristics will inform testing, treatment, and support services. Though we did not find differences in adherence between women with children and those without children, we were able to identify other characteristics that may affect adherence. Further inquiry into the nuances of women living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa is necessary to further understand their needs.
PMID: 22107066 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]