Factors associated with HIV seroconversion during pregnancy in Manzini region, Swaziland in 2012.
Background: The HIV epidemic has greatly affected sub-Saharan Africa, with the highest prevalence in the world found in Swaziland. One in three pregnant women in Swaziland has HIV. One of the PMTCT strategies is primary prevention of HIV among women who are uninfected. Understanding the reasons why pregnant women continue to seroconvert is the key in meeting this strategy. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine the factors associated with seroconversion among pregnant women utilizing Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital in 2012. Objectives: The objectives of this study are to: determine the proportion of HIV non-infected pregnant women who are retested for HIV during pregnancy; determine the gestational age at which pregnant women are retested for HIV; establish the proportion of women who were initially HIV non-infected and seroconverted during pregnancy; and establish the factors associated with seroconversion during pregnancy. Methods: An observational cross-sectional study design with both descriptive and analytic components was carried out at Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital. Systematic sampling was used for the recruitment of 381 pregnant women who were initially HIV non-infected. An interviewer-administered questionnaire and chart review were used to collect demographic and clinical data. The data was analyzed using descriptive and analytic statistics. Results: The results of the study show that demographic factors such as age and educational level are associated with HIV seroconversion during pregnancy. The findings also highlight how partner factors play a role in HIV seroconversion. The results indicate that sexual behaviours 333of the pregnant women contribute greatly to HIV seroconversion. Conclusion: Pregnant women continue to engage in risky sexual behaviours during pregnancy and there is need to strengthen counseling on preventive measures throughout the antenatal care period. There is also need for programs to explore possibility of providing antiretroviral drugs for pre-exposure prophylaxis to all HIV negative women during pregnancy.