Date of Award

Summer 8-7-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Sheryl Strasser

Second Advisor

Dr. Scott Weaver

Third Advisor

Amanda Gailey

Abstract

Introduction: Associations of knowledge and sociodemographic characteristics of individuals for risk of HIV have been documented; however, it remains to be clarified whether these relationships apply to examining women’s knowledge regarding vertical transmission risk of HIV on the basis of having delivered a child. The present study explores associations of sociodemographic risk and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) knowledge among a sample of women of childbearing age in Zimbabwe stratified by childbirth status.

Aim: The purpose of this study was to examine differences of sociodemographic characteristics and knowledge of HIV transmission among women of child-bearing age included in the 2015 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) based on HIV-blood test result.

Methods:Eligibility criteria for inclusion in the study were: female sex, aged 15-49, with HIV-blood test results. Secondary analyses (Chi-square and logistic regression) were conducted using data from the 2015 Zimbabwe DHS wave of data. Statistical tests between selected sociodemographic variables (age, educational attainment, wealth index, and childbirth status) and knowledge of HIV transmission related to childbirth, breastfeeding, drugs to avoid, and known HIV-blood test result were conducted to compare women with HIV to those without.

Results: 8,433 female sex, aged 15-49, and known HIV-blood test result met the inclusion criteria and were included in the study sample. 18.02% of the sample were HIV+. Results of the analyses found that educational attainment and wealth index were significantly associated with knowledge of HIV transmission during pregnancy; age, wealth index, childbirth status, and HIV-blood test result were significantly associated with knowledge of drugs taken to avoid HIV transmission to baby during pregnancy; and age, educational attainment, childbirth status, and HIV-blood test result were significantly associated with knowledge of HIV transmitted to baby by breastfeeding.

Conclusion: This study revealed that age, educational attainment, wealth index, childbirth status, and HIV-blood test result were associated with knowledge of HIV transmission outcomes of interest among women of childbearing age in Zimbabwe. There is also a need for further research on innovative strategies aimed at increasing HIV knowledge among certain sub-groups of women who lack the knowledge in regards to prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Available for download on Thursday, July 25, 2019

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