Chizona, A.F., Pharr, J.R., Oodo, G., et al. AIDS Care (March 2017), 29 (9):1094–1098, doi: 10.1080/09540121.2017.1317325.
This study examined the impact of training 46 traditional birth attendants (TBAs) to provide HIV testing services (HTS) and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) in Nigeria to influence rapid HIV testing uptake among pregnant women. The intervention entailed identifying and training 1–5 TBAs at each primary health care center (PHC) on national guidance for HTS and use of the antenatal register. The TBAs were also trained to refer women who tested positive to the PHC for confirmatory testing, and to document client encounters. They visited the PHC each month to provide documentation and resupply HIV test kits. TBAs also received quarterly supportive supervision by PHC representatives for quality improvement. The number of women who received HTS increased from 2,501 (in the six months before the intervention) to 5,346 (in the six months post-intervention), with TBAs contributing greater than half of the HTS services. Intervention sites offered nearly three times as many types of HTS as control sites. The authors concluded that TBAs can fill an important gap in identifying HIV-positive pregnant women, including those in rural areas, and linking them to PMTCT and other health services.