Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV in Yaounde: Barrier to Care
Most HIV-infected children in Sub-Saharan Africa are born where programs for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) exist but are not universally operational. The expansion of PMTCT programs in Cameroon was among the largest in francophone Africa, but despite highly variable estimates of PMTCT uptake (ranging from 20% to 66%), it is clear that not enough HIV-infected pregnant Cameroonian women benefit from treatment to prevent HIV transmission to their children. The reasons why HIV-infected women in Cameroon do not use treatments to prevent this transmission remain partially unidentified. We conducted a qualitative study of the therapeutic itineraries (treatments taken and motivations) followed by HIV-infected pregnant women in Cameroon to understand the barriers to accessing high-quality PMTCT care. Here we construct the therapeutic itinerary for HIV-infected pregnant women, and identify the barriers at each step. Lack of financial independence, personal support, and empowering information were the primary obstacles at multiple steps.
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