HIV-1 infected women and prenatal care utilization: barriers and facilitators.
In an effort to understand issues affecting prenatal care access and utilization from the perspectives of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women who receive inadequate prenatal care, we conducted three in-depth qualitative and quantitative interviews. From a thematic analysis of the narrative interviews, four broad areas emerged as pertinent to these women's prenatal care experiences. These were issues related to pregnancy, HIV, psychosocial conditions, and the health care system. For these women, the barriers to prenatal care utilization included the unexpected and unplanned nature of the pregnancy and mental health issues related to HIV infection. Poverty, periodic homelessness, addiction to illicit substances, and lack of social support were also important barriers. Furthermore, perceptions of the health care system as threatening, including fears related to consequences of disclosing illicit activities, discrimination, and breach of confidentiality emerged as salient barriers. Facilitating factors included the pregnancy being experienced as a life-transforming event, concern for their children, especially preventing HIV-1 vertical transmission, availability of treatment, and support from health care professionals. Prominent throughout the interviews were the women's mental health concerns and need for professional support.
Napravnik, S; Royce, R; Walter, E; Lim, W
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