Recent HIV Prevalence Trends among Pregnant Women and all Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications for HIV Estimates

January 2015 - Epidemiology

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Eaton, J. W., Rehle, T. M., Jooste, S., et al. AIDS (November 2014), Vol. 28, Supplement 4, pp. 507–514.

This study examined data from 13 sub-Saharan African countries to determine whether recent HIV prevalence trends among pregnant women are representative of general population trends. The authors used nationally representative household-based HIV prevalence survey data from the 13 countries, dividing their examination into two time periods: 2003–2008, and 2009–2012. For each time period, they calculated the percentage of pregnant women, HIV prevalence among all women, and HIV prevalence among currently pregnant women; they then compared HIV prevalence trends among all women aged 15–49 years. The results showed that HIV prevalence trends among currently pregnant women aged 15–24 years were similar to trends for all women aged 15–24 years. This is consistent with previous research findings, suggesting that prevalence trends among young women attending antenatal care (ANC) were in fact representative of prevalence trends in all young women. However, HIV prevalence trends among older pregnant women were significantly lower than HIV prevalence for all older women. The authors concluded that given the difference in prevalence patterns for older pregnant women versus those for all older women, HIV prevalence surveillance among ANC attendees should be collected by age.

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