Influence of knowledge about discriminatory practices towards HIV-positive individuals with the uptake of HIV testing during pregnancy among reproductive-aged women in Nigeria

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Charles Nzelu
Magdeline Aagard
Hadi Danawi
Gwendolyn S. Francavillo
Pelagia Melea


Antenatal Visits, Childbirth, HIV Testing, Pregnant Women, Knowledge, HIV/AIDS Discriminatory Practices


Background: The fear of positive HIV results has been reported as a determinant of HIV testing among pregnant women and women of reproductive age. When pregnant women know about discriminatory practices toward other people based on their HIV-positive status, it may impact their testing for HIV. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the association between Nigerian pregnant women's knowledge of discriminatory practices against persons living with HIV and their self-reported HIV testing during antenatal visits or childbirth.

Methodology: A secondary analysis of data from 659 t women who had experienced pregnancy aged 15–49 years from the 2013 Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) was done. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was done to determine the association between knowledge about discriminatory practices towards HIV-positive individuals (independent variable) and HIV testing during pregnancy (dependent variable) after controlling for covariates (demographic characteristics). A P-value of ≤ 0.05 was taken as statistically significant.

Results: Bivariate logistic regression analysis findings showed that educational level, place of residence, and religion statistically significantly predicted HIV testing of pregnant women, while age categories and marital status did not. The women’s knowledge of discriminatory practices towards persons living with HIV/AIDS was not statistically significant at Alpha = 0.05 (AOR,1.51; 95% CI: .46, 4.95) Higher levels of education (Primary Education, AOR = 1.81; 95% CI: 1.03, 3.18; Secondary Education, AOR = 3.73; 95% CI: 1.92, 7.25; Higher Education, AOR = 10.92; 95% CI: 4.25, 28.05) and those living in urban areas (AOR = 1.62; 95% CI: 1.04, 2.51) were significantly associated with testing for HIV in the stepwise multivariable regression model of pregnant women’s knowledge of discriminatory practices towards persons living with HIV/AIDS.

Conclusion: Although knowledge of discriminatory practices did not predict pregnant women's HIV testing in this study, interventions by stakeholders to eliminate or reduce these practices should be stepped up towards facilitating positive social change.

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