Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) is the main mode of HIV transmission in children under 15 years old. This problem is significant in the Sub-Saharan African countries, where more than 80% of children living with HIV are found. Previous studies in Ethiopia present inconsistent and inconclusive findings on the prevalence and associated factors of MTCT of HIV. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the pooled prevalence of MTCT of HIV and its associated factors in Ethiopia.
Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guideline was followed. All published studies were retrieved using relevant search terms in MEDLINE, PUBMED, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Google Scholar, CINAHL, and African Journals Online databases. Joanna Briggs Institute Meta-Analysis of Statistics Assessment and Review Instrument (JBI-MAStARI) was used to critically appraise articles. STATA version 14 software was used to perform the Meta-analysis. The I2 statistics was used to test heterogeneity and publication bias was assessed using Begg’s and Egger’s tests. Odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was presented using forest plots.
A total of nine studies, 3688 mother-baby pairs, were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled prevalence of MTCT of HIV in Ethiopia was 9.93% (95% CI: 7.29, 12.56). The subgroup analysis showed a higher prevalence of MTCT of HIV in Dire Dawa City Administration (15.7%) and lowest in Southern Nations, Nationality and Peoples Region (SNNPR) (4.16%). Associated factors with MTCT of HIV include: mixed feeding, OR = 7.46 (95%CI: 4.71, 11.81), absence of infant ARV prophylaxis, OR = 7.89 (95%CI: 4.32, 14.42), home delivery, OR = 5.08 (95%CI: 2.32, 11.15), and absence of maternal PMTCT intervention, OR = 7.13 (95% CI: 3.31, 15.35).
Almost one in ten HIV exposed infants become HIV positive in Ethiopia. Factors like: mixed feeding, the absence of infant ARV prophylaxis, home delivery and absence of mother’s PMTCT intervention were significantly associated with MTCT of HIV. Therefore, the governmental and non-governmental organizations need to focus on the identified factors and work towards improving the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) program.