Implementation of HIV Retesting During Pregnancy and Postpartum in Kenya: A Cross-Sectional Study

Glob Health Sci Pract. 2022 Feb 28;10(1):e2100451. doi: 10.9745/GHSP-D-21-00451. Print 2022 Feb 28.


Introduction: HIV retesting during pregnancy/postpartum can identify incident maternal HIV infection and prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission (MTCT). Guidelines recommend retesting HIV-negative peripartum women, but data on implementation are limited. We conducted a cross-sectional study in Kenya to measure the prevalence of maternal HIV retesting in programs and HIV incidence.

Methods: Programmatic HIV retesting data was abstracted from maternal and child health booklets among women enrolled in a cross-sectional and/or seeking services during pregnancy, delivery, or 9 months postpartum in Kenya between January 2017 and July 2019. Retesting was defined as any HIV test conducted by MTCT programs after the initial antenatal care test or conducted as part of retesting policies at/after delivery for women not tested during pregnancy. Poisson generalized linear regression was used to identify correlates of programmatic retesting among women enrolled at 9 months postpartum.

Results: Among 5,894 women included in the analysis, 3,124 only had data abstracted and 2,770 were enrolled in a cross-sectional study. Overall prevalence of programmatic HIV retesting was higher at 6 weeks (65%) and 9 months postpartum (72%) than in pregnancy (32%), at delivery (23%) and 6 months postpartum (28%) (P<.001 for all comparisons). HIV incidence was 0.72/100 person-years (PY) (95% confidence interval (CI)=0.43,1.22) in pregnancy and 0.23/100 PY (95% CI=0.09, 0.62) postpartum (incidence rate ratio: 3.09; 95% CI=0.97, 12.90; P=.02).

Conclusion: Maternal retest coverage was high at 6 weeks and 9 months postpartum but low during pregnancy. Strategies to ensure high retesting coverage and detect women with incident maternal HIV infection are needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control
  • Kenya / epidemiology
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / prevention & control