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Prophylactic treatment uptake and compliance with recommended follow up among HIV exposed infants: a retrospective study in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Mulatu Biru Shargie1*, Frida Eek2 and Addisalem Abaychew3

Author Affiliations

1 Master's Programme in Public Health Faculty of Medicine Lund University Malmö, Sweden

2 Division of Laboratory medicine/Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

3 Department of Nursing, Bethel Medical College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:563  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-563

Published: 27 December 2011



Children are being infected by HIV/AIDS mainly through mother-to-child transmission. In Ethiopia currently more than 135,000 children are living with HIV/AIDS. The aim of this study was to describe the pattern of ARV uptake after birth, co-trimoxazole prophylaxis and follow up compliance, and to examine which factors are associated with the intervention outcome.


A retrospective quantitative study design was used for data collection through two hospitals. All infants who were delivered by HIV infected mothers between October 2008 and August 2009 were included and information regarding treatment adherence during their first 6 months of age was collected.


118 HIV exposed infant-mother pairs were included in the study. 107 (90.7%) infants received ARV prophylaxis at birth. Sixty six (56%) of the infants were found to be adherent to co-trimoxazole prophylactic treatment. The majority (n = 110(93.2%)) of infants were tested HIV negative with DNA/PCR HIV test at the age of sixth weeks. Infants who took ARV prophylaxis at birth were found to be more likely to adhere with co-trimoxazole treatment: [OR = 9.43(95% CI: 1.22, 72.9)]. Similarly, infants whose mothers had been enrolled for HIV/ART care in the same facility [OR = 14(95% CI: 2.6, 75.4)], and children whose fathers were tested and known to be HIV positive [OR = 3.0(95% CI: 1.0, 9.0)] were more likely to adhere than their counterparts. Infants feeding practice was also significantly associated with adherence χ2 -test, p < 0.01.


The proportion of ARV uptake at birth among HIV exposed infants were found to be high compared to other similar settings. Mother-infant pair enrolment in the same facility and the infant's father being tested and knew their HIV result were major predictors of infants adhering to treatment and follow up. However, large numbers of infants were lost to follow up.