Date of Conferral
In 2012, Tanzania, the prevalence of HIV infection among Tanzanian women was 6.3%; that same year, 18% of Tanzanian children were born already infected with HIV. The purpose of this study was to determine the importance of prenatal care attendance on comprehensive knowledge of HIV mother-to-child transmission (MTCT), and HIV testing and counseling, as well as awareness of HIV testing coverage services, in Tanzania. The study population was Tanzanian women of childbearing, aged 15 to 49 years old. Guided by the health belief model, this cross-sectional survey design used secondary data from the 2011-2012 Tanzania Demographic Health Survey. Independent variables were comprehensive knowledge of HIV MTCT, HIV testing and counseling, and awareness of HIV testing coverage services; the dependent variable was prenatal care visit (PNCV) attendance. Findings showed that 69% of women had their first PNCV in the second trimester, meaning that they attended less than 4 visits. Multinomial logistic regression modeling assessed the association between independent variables and PNCV attendance after controlling for sociodemographic factors. Findings denoted that comprehensive knowledge of HIV MTCT after controlling for married vs. never married, maternal age, and wealth was associated with PNVC. HIV testing and post counseling, and awareness of HIV testing coverage services were also significant for women who attended their first prenatal visit in the 2nd trimester. These findings have positive social change implications by informing efforts to identify at-risk pregnant women through systematic HIV testing and counseling for early medical intervention; such efforts may reduce MTCT and encourage them to start their PNCV in the first trimester.