Correlates of Infant Feeding Practices Among HIV-positive Mothers and Controls in Northeast Nigeria
Background: Despite the global decline in pediatric HIV infections, infants in sub-Saharan
Africa still acquire HIV infection through inappropriate feeding.
Objective: The objective of the study was to compare knowledge and predictors of infant feeding
behavior between mothers living with HIV and controls of unknown HIV status in Gombe, northeast
Methods: A cross-section of clinic-based samples of 84 HIV-positive mothers and 170 controls of
unknown status were interviewed using validated questionnaires. Knowledge scores and self-reported
infant feeding practices were analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression models were employed
to determine predictors for infant feeding practices.
Results: Transmission risk perception (95.2% vs. 65.3%) (p<0.05) and adequate knowledge of infant
feeding (77.4% vs. 51.2%) (p<0.05) were higher among HIV-positive mothers than controls.
Compared with mothers of unknown status (56.5%), a higher proportion of HIV-positive mothers
(84.5%) reported breastfeeding the index infant exclusively for 6 months (p<0.05). In contrast,
mixed feeding was more prevalent among controls (19.4% vs. 4.8%) (p<0.05). Further, over a third
(39.3%) of HIV-positive mothers and 27.6% of controls weaned their infants at ≥12 months
(p>0.05). Antenatal attendance, hospital delivery, knowledge, and positive attitude predicted infant
feeding practices in both groups. The predictive roles of education and parity were limited to HIVpositive
mothers, while the effects of maternal age and infant death were restricted to controls.
Conclusion: Risk perception, knowledge, and exclusive breastfeeding rates were higher among
mothers living with HIV. Antenatal care, hospital delivery, knowledge, and attitude predicted infant
feeding practices in both groups. Girl child education, antenatal care, hospital delivery, and sustained
promotion of exclusive breastfeeding with antiretroviral therapy are key to HIV-free infant
Journal Title: Current HIV Research