• Attitudes and perceptions of pregnant women towards the use of Anti-Retroviral Therapy in Nigeria

      Major, Puremeluan Baldwin; Puthussery, Shuby; Pappas, Yannis; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2018-06-25)
      Background Mother-to-child transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus continues to be a major problem in Nigeria. Despite several initiatives, the number of infected pregnant women receiving Anti-Retroviral Therapy to prevent Mother-to-child transmission of the virus remains low in Nigeria. Evidence suggests that attitudes and perceptions of the pregnant women influence their use of Anti-Retroviral Therapy. Aim To understand the attitudes and perceptions of Human Immunodeficiency Virus   infected pregnant women towards the use of Anti-Retroviral Therapy for prevention of mother-to-child transmission in Nigeria. Method Twenty four Human Immunodeficiency Virus infected pregnant women were purposively selected from antenatal clinics. Women’s attitudes and perceptions towards the use of Anti-Retroviral Therapy were explored using semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted in May/June 2016. All interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic approach. Findings Overall, participants reflected a positive attitude about using Anti-Retroviral Therapy to prevent mother-to-child transmission and perceived the treatment as beneficial. The main themes identified included: perceived benefits of Anti-Retroviral Therapy; barriers to using Anti-Retroviral Therapy; threat from the susceptibility to the illness and the severity; perceived roles in treatment; and the negative behaviours of healthcare providers. Conclusion The findings provide useful insights to inform Nigeria’s health policies on Anti-Retroviral Therapy. There is a need to educate the women on the benefits of the treatment as well as how they can cope with side effects and the daily regimen of the therapy during pregnancy. The findings also indicate the need for training healthcare providers on facilitative patient-provider relationship.