Maruva, Matthews, Stanley Gwavuya, Molline Marume, Reuben Musarandega, and Nyasha Madzingira. 2014. Knowledge of HIV status at ANC and Utilization of Maternal Health Services in the 2010-11 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey. DHS Working Papers No. 107 (Zimbabwe Working Papers No. 8). Rockville, Maryland, USA: ICF International.
Zimbabwe is ranked among the 40 countries in the world with high maternal mortality. HIV/AIDS is the leading indirect cause of maternal mortality in Zimbabwe, accounting for 26% of the recorded maternal deaths. HIV-positive pregnant women face increased health risks because of their status, and it is crucial that they adhere to the appropriate antenatal care (ANC) protocol and deliver under skilled care in a health facility. In this study we hypothesized that HIV-positive pregnant women are more likely to use maternal health services compared with HIV-negative pregnant women. Using secondary data from the 2010-11 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS), we examined the association between knowledge of HIV status and use of maternal health services.
The study selected 2,362 women age 15-49 who gave birth in the three
years preceding the ZDHS, were tested for HIV during ANC and received the results. Two variables were used to measure use of maternal health services: number of ANC visits and place of delivery. Knowledge of HIV status was determined using data from the survey questions that asked women if they were tested for HIV and received the test results during
their last pregnancy, as well as using the actual HIV test results obtained at the time of the 2010-11 ZDHS. We performed chi-square tests and logistic regression to determine association.
The results indicate that there is no significant association between use of maternal health services and knowledge of HIV status. HIV-positive women are not different from their HIV-negative counterparts in use of maternal health services. The fact that the results do not support
the study hypothesis raises serious concerns about implications for programmes designed to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of
HIV and the overall fight to prevent maternal deaths.