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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3371.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 5:10 PM

Abstract #117784

Perceptions of stigma as barrier to HIV testing and PMTC medication for pregnant Ghanaian women

Kenyetta Jackson, MPH1, Derek K. Richardson, BS1, Timothy Johnson, MD2, Frank J. Anderson, MD, MPH3, Padi Ayertey, MB, ChB4, Richard Adanu, MB, ChB4, Deirdre Carroll, BA2, and Kathleen McCarthy1. (1) Health Behavior and Health Education, The University of Michigan, School of Public Health, 611 Church, Room 225, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, 3134142646, krjackso@umich.edu, (2) Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Michigan Hospital, L4000 Women's, 1500 E Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, (3) Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan, L 4022 Women's Hospital, 1521 Simpson E, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, (4) Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, P.O. Box 77 Korle Bu, Accra, Ghana

Relative to neighboring Sub-Saharan countries with HIV prevalence of 5% and above, the 3.1% prevalence in Ghana stirs optimism that there is time to prevent new cases and control an epidemic that is devastating the region. Though it is now rare in many Western countries, perinatal transmission is a primary mode of transmission in Ghana. At selected Ghanaian sites, Nevirapine treatment is available and provides the opportunity to reduce cases of mother to child transmission (MTCT). A convenience sample of 503 pregnant Ghanaian women who used antenatal services at an urban hospital responded to a questionnaire exploring willingness to accept HIV testing and, if positive, Nevirapine to prevent MTC. Aims of the study were to determine the roles that demographic characteristics, sexual relationship and decision making power, stigma, and having care options play in acceptance. Most of the responding women expressed a willingness to test (77%) and this number increased when information regarding medication was offered (88%). Still, stigma was cited as a hindrance to the acceptance of the services for women with specific demographic characteristics, such as education level. This paper uses regression analysis and crosstabulation to further examine stigma as a barrier among the women who responded and contextual factors as indicated by other variables. These data together with narrative offered by the responding women point toward public health efforts which may have reduced stigma in their communities and sources of stigma which can still be addressed through innovative means offered by the international health community.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA