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The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12889-015-2155-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
In this study, we report no financial or non-financial competing interests.
AAO conceived of the study including design and methodology. He was the principal in data management particularly first and final level analysis. IEN performed literature reviews including references, secondary analysis and harmonized results. CAO developed the study map of the regions and performed quality assurance on results tabulated. AAO, AA, PD, AOA and PG reviewed drafts of the manuscripts and provided critical feedback. All authors read and approved the final version.
Serodiscordance exists when the known HIV result of one member of a couple pair is positive while that of his/her partner is negative. In sub-Saharan Africa, in stable long-term couple partnerships (married or cohabiting), serodiscordance is a growing source of HIV-transmissions. This study aimed to ascertain across Nigeria, serodiscordance prevalence, partner HIV status disclosure and explore associations between suspected determinants and serodiscordance among PMTCT enrolled HIV positive pregnant women and their partners.
A retrospective Quality of Care performance evaluation was conducted in July 2013 among 544 HIV positive pregnant enrolees of PMTCT services in 62 comprehensive facilities across 5 of Nigeria’s 6 geo-political zones. Data of client-partner pairs were abstracted from pre-existing medical records and analysed using chi-square statistics and logistic regression.
A total of 544 (22 %) of 2499 clients with complete partner details were analysed. Clients’ age ranged from 15 to 50 years with a mean of 30 years. Serodiscordant prevalence was 52 % and chi-square test suggests no significant difference between serodiscordant and seroconcordant clients and their partners (p = 0.265). Serodiscordant rates were closely associated trend wise with national HIV sero-prevalence rates and the median CD4+ count was 425 ul/mm3 (IQR: 290–606 ul/mm3). Similar proportion of clients (99 %) received testing and agreed to disclose status to their partners. Yet, there was no association between clients agreement to disclose HIV status to their partners and these partners getting tested and receiving results (p = 0.919). Significantly, 87 % of clients in concordant HIV positive relationships appeared to be symptomatic (WHO clinical stage 3 or 4) compared to 13 % clients in HIV-discordant relationships (p < 0.003). Client’s age and CD4+ count did not aptly predict serodiscordance (Wald = 0.011 and 0.436 respectively). However, the WHO clinical staging appeared to be a better predictor of serodiscordance and concordance than other variables (Wald = 3.167).
The results suggest that clinical staging (WHO) could be a better predictor of client- partner pair discordant or concordant HIV serostatus. Early partner testing and notification can avert seroconversion, hence properly designed and mainstreamed interventions that target serodiscordant couples are essential.