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Int J STD AIDS. 2001 Jun;12(6):390-4.

Attitudes towards prenatal HIV testing and treatment among pregnant women in southern India.

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Department of Immunology, Miriam Hospital/Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02906, USA.


During June and July 1999, oral interviews were conducted on 666 women seeking prenatal care at 9 medical facilities in Chennai and Mysore, India, to assess their attitudes towards prenatal HIV testing and antiretroviral prophylaxis for preventing perinatal HIV transmission if needed. Seventy-eight per cent were aware of the risk of perinatal HIV transmission and 36% knew that intervention could reduce the chances of such transmission. Eighty-six per cent would agree to undergo prenatal HIV testing but only 21% of all respondents would make this decision independently while 46% said their husband would have to decide. Of those women who would not agree to testing, 21% would agree if testing were compulsory. Ninety-seven per cent of respondents would undergo antiretroviral prophylaxis to prevent vertical transmission, and 94% would consider alternatives to breastfeeding if HIV positive. Considering its widespread acceptability, prenatal voluntary counselling and testing may be an affordable method of HIV prevention for this population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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