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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


KUMAR, Alok; KILARU, Krishna R.; FORDE, Sheila  and  WATERMAN, Ira. Uptake of health care services and health status of HIV-infected women diagnosed through antenatal HIV screening in Barbados, 1996-2004. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2007, vol.22, n.6, pp.376-382. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVES: To study utilization of HIV-related health care services and to describe the health status of HIV-infected women diagnosed through antenatal voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) for HIV infection in Barbados. METHODS: This is a descriptive study. The study population includes all HIV-infected women in Barbados diagnosed as HIV-infected through VCT for HIV infection during 1996-2004. RESULTS: The median duration of HIV infection from time of diagnosis to the time of this report for the 163 women diagnosed during the study period was 72 months (low range, 9 months; high range, 117 months). Of the 163 women, 102 (62.6%) had attended the centralized HIV/AIDS clinic for follow-up (care, treatment, and monitoring), whereas 61 (37.4%) had never attended the clinic. The median time lag between diagnosis of HIV infection and first presentation to the HIV/AIDS clinic was 36 months (low range, 1 month; high range, 114 months). Of the HIV-infected women who attended the HIV/AIDS clinic, more than one-fourth had severe immunodeficiency at the time of their first follow-up visit. Of the 53 women undergoing highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) at the time of the study, 23 (43.4%) began the therapy within three months of their first follow-up visit. CONCLUSIONS: Early HIV diagnosis through antenatal VCT is not enough to ensure that women with HIV will get adequate and timely HIV-related health care. These women suffer significant premature mortality, largely related to inadequate follow-up.

Keywords : HIV infections; pregnant women; health status; Barbados.

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