Experiences of HIV Positive Mothers From Rural South India during Intra-Natal Period 2203-2206
Dr. Subitha Lakshminarayanan,
Senior Resident, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, JIPMER, Puducherry- 605006, India.
Phone: 8489216058, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Context: Tamil Nadu comes under group I high prevalence state, with less than 1% prevalence of HIV infection in antenatal women but above 5% prevalence in high risk group. One of the ways to control HIV/AIDS in India is through Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT), the success of which lies in identifying pregnant women with HIV infection. But due to the stigma against HIV/AIDS among health care providers, HIV positive patients face discrimination in the health sector.
Aims: To explore the difficulties faced by rural HIV positive mothers during the intra-natal period.
Methods: A descriptive qualitative study was conducted among HIV positive mothers, in Gingee block of Villupuram district, Tamil Nadu, India. All the mothers who tested positive between June 2006 and May 2010 were interviewed in-depth using an interview guide.
Results: There were 21 HIV positive mothers during this period, 19 of whom gave consent. Majority of the mothers were <30 years of age from families belonging to lower socio-economic class. The discriminations faced from the health staff was avoidance of physical examination, rude behaviour like throwing of records on the face, discriminatory comments, unnecessary referrals and even refusal to provide intra-partum services. The negative attitude of the staff made a few mothers to deliver in some other institution without disclosing their HIV status.
Conclusion: Stigma among health care providers towards HIV positive pregnant women acts as a barrier for improving access to PPTCT services in India and it poses high risk to the mothers, babies and also the health care providers. There is a pressing need to improve access to quality PPTCT services especially during the intranatal period