HIV testing and counselling for women attending child health clinics: an opportunity for entry to prevent mother-to-child transmission and HIV treatment
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This study assessed the potential for HIV testing at child health clinics to increase knowledge of HIV status, and entry to infant feeding counselling and HIV treatment. At a provincial hospital in Mombasa, Kenya, HIV testing and counselling were offered to women bringing their child for immunization or acute care services. Most women said HIV testing should be offered in these clinics (472/493, 95.7%), with many citing the benefits of regular testing and entry to prevent mother-to-child transmission. Of 500 women, 416 (83.4%) received test results, 97.6% on the same day. After 50 participants, point-of-care testing replaced laboratory-based rapid testing. Uptake increased 2.6 times with point-of-care testing (95% confidence interval = 1.4-5.1; P = 0.003). Of 124 women who had not accessed HIV testing during pregnancy, 98 tested in the study (79.0%). Measured by uptake and attitudes, HIV testing in child health clinics is acceptable. This could optimize entry into HIV treatment, infant feeding counselling and family planning services.