Original Research

Pregnant women’s knowledge about Mother-to-Child Transmission (MTCT) of HIV infection through breast feeding

MS Maputle
Curationis | Vol 31, No 1 | a908 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v31i1.908 | © 2008 MS Maputle | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 September 2008 | Published: 28 September 2008

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MS Maputle,, South Africa

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Abstract

The HIV and AIDS epidemic in South Africa has reached serious proportions. Over 5, 5 million South Africans are infected with HIV (Department of Health, 2004:10). Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT) is a well-established mode of HIV transmission and these infections may occur during pregnancy, labour, delivery and breastfeeding. According to the Department of Health (2000:2), breastfeeding constitutes a significant risk of MTCT HIV transmission. Studies in Africa have also shown that breast-feeding increases the risk of MTCT by 12%-43% (Department of Health, 2000:13; Department of Health, 2000:3). Since breastfeeding is a significant and preventable mode of HIV transmission to infants, there is an urgent need to educate, counsel and support women and families to make informed decisions about how best to feed their infants in the context of HTV. To achieve a reduction in MTCT, there is an urgent need to empower women with information on MTCT for informed decision-making. However, cultural factors and the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS might contribute to limited knowledge about MTCT through breastfeeding.

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Crossref Citations

1. Knowledge and attitudes about HIV infection and prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV in an urban, low income community in Durban, South Africa: Perspectives of residents and health care volunteers
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doi: 10.1016/j.hsag.2016.02.001