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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 15-21

The relationship between educational attainment and hiv prevalence among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in six states of India: Sentinel surveillance from 2010 to 2017

1 Biologist, Procrea Fertility Centre, Vaughan, Ontario, Canada; Former Scientist C, Laboratory, HIV Surveillance, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Chief Bio-Statistician and M&E Specialist, CDC Project, Society Health Allied Research Education, (SHARE-India), New Delhi, India
3 Associate Project Director, NISCHIT Project, Society Health Allied Research Education, (SHARE-India), Telangana, India
4 Scientist B, HIV Surveillance, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
5 Scientist C, HIV Surveillance, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
6 Scientist G, Department of Computing and Information Science, ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Elangovan Arumugam
Division of Computing and Information Science, ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology, R-127, 2nd Main Road, TNHB, Ayapakkam, Chennai - 600 077, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_64_20

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Background: The National AIDS Control Programme provides support for HIV prevention services to pregnant women attending antenatal care (ANC) clinics through testing, kit delivery, counseling, and treatment services. The impact of HIV prevention programs in the general population is assessed by monitoring trends and progress made against the HIV epidemic among pregnant women attending ANC clinics during HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS). Objectives: This study explores the association of HIV risk with educational attainment for Indian women across different age groups from four repeated cross-sectional surveillance of antenatal clinics in six states from the southern part of India. Methods: Data collected from the repeated cross-sectional HSS conducted during the year 2010–2011 (baseline) and 2016–2017 (end line) across six states were used for this analysis. The total sample size was 94,266 at baseline and 99,434 at end line. In the logistic regression analysis, we focused on identifying the association between educational attainment, and HIV prevalence adjusting for period effects across two age groups for women attending ANC clinics. Results: The analysis showed an inverse association between education and HIV risk across different age groups. The age-segregated and survey period adjusted analysist showed that for older women (≥25 years), the HIV risk in 2010 ranged from 41% lower among 5th Grade to 80% lower among postgraduates than illiterates. For the <25 year age group, this risk of HIV for pregnant women was 35% to 49% lower. Conclusions: To ensure an effective national response to control and prevent HIV infection, policymakers in India need to focus on ≥25 years' age group of women attending ANC for designing educational interventions to reduce HIV risk as well as the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

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