Infant-feeding practices and associated factors of HIV-positive mothers at Gert Sibande, South Africa

SOURCE: Acta Paediatrica
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2010
TITLE AUTHOR(S): R.Ladzani, K.Peltzer, M.G.Mlambo, K.Phaweni
KEYWORDS: BREASTFEEDING, HIV/AIDS, INFANTS, PREVENTION OF MOTHER TO CHILD TRANSMISSION (PMTCT) PROGRAMME, WOMEN
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Capabilities (HSC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 6610

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Abstract

To assess knowledge, infant-feeding education and practices, factors that affect choice of infant feeding option, determinants of mixed feeding, psychosocial challenges and attitudes of HIV-positive women with infants between ages 3-6 months who attended prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV services in Gert Sibande district. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 815 HIV-positive mothers at 47 postnatal clinics. Trained field workers collected data at health facilities, using structured questionnaires. HIV-infected women who were at least 18 years of age were interviewed. Results: The mean age was 27.7 years (SD 6.4). Seventy-eight percent agreed that HIV could be transmitted by breastfeeding. Fifty per cent were exclusively formula feeding, 35.6% breastfed exclusively and 12.4% mixed fed. In multivariate analysis, having a vaginal delivery, infant hospital admissions, and currently pregnant were associated with mixed feeding. Being older, knowing the HIV status of the infant and higher knowledge on HIV transmission through breastfeeding were associated with formula feeding. Conclusion: The study identified gaps in prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) knowledge and infant feeding policy which seem to affect appropriate infant feeding. Various determinants of mixed feeding and exclusive formula feeding in the context of PMTCT were identified that can guide infant feeding counselling and support services of PMTCT programmes.