The development of harmonized minimum standards for guidance on HIV testing and counselling and Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV in the SADC region: PMTCT country report: Namibia

OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- other
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2009
TITLE AUTHOR(S): V.U.Agu
KEYWORDS: HIV TESTING AND COUNSELLING (HTC), HIV/AIDS, NAMIBIA, PREVENTION OF MOTHER TO CHILD TRANSMISSION (PMTCT) PROGRAMME
DEPARTMENT: Social Aspects of Public Health (SAPH)
Intranet: HSRC Library: shelf number 6311

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Abstract

HIV infection prevalence among young women between 15 and 24, which can be used as a proxy for incidence, has shown a slight decline from 17.9 in 2002 to 15.2 in 2004, to 14.2 percent in 2006, but there is marked variation between sites and years. The National Policy on HIV/AIDS was approved in March 2007 and Guidelines for the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission published in July 2008. The PMTCT programme in Namibia consists of a package of strategies that target pregnant women. It includes HIV counselling and testing, referral to HIV care/treatment for those found positive, provision of prophylactic ARV medication to HIV positive mothers before delivery and for infants within 72 hours of birth, infant feeding counselling, and DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for infants born to HIV positive mothers. The percentage of ANC clients receiving an HIV test improved from 79% in 2004/05 to 86% in 2006/07. The percentage of those tested who received post-test counselling improved from 38% to 58% and the percentage of HIV positive women who had a CD4 test increased from 29% to 70% over the same period. These positive trends are attributed to the roll out of PMTCT services, particularly the roll out of rapid testing. The opt-out strategy adopted by the MoHSS has also likely contributed to the high proportions of pregnant women enrolled in the PMTCT programme.