HIV retesting for pregnant and breastfeeding women across maternal child health services in Nampula, Mozambique

PLoS One. 2023 Mar 24;18(3):e0283558. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0283558. eCollection 2023.


Background: Repeat HIV testing during pregnancy and breastfeeding identifies women with incident infections, those living with HIV who have been lost to care, and infants at risk for HIV infection. We report data from repeat testing for women in maternal and child health (MCH) services at 10 health facilities in Mozambique.

Methods: Routinely collected data from health facility registers are reported from April-November 2019. From antenatal care (ANC), we report numbers and proportions of women eligible for retesting; returned for care when retesting eligible; retested; and HIV-positive (HIV+) at retesting. From child welfare clinics (CWC), we report mothers retested; tested HIV-positive; HIV+ mothers linked to ART services; HIV-exposed infants (HEI) tested for HIV with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests; HEI testing PCR positive; PCR-positive infants linked to care.

Results: In ANC, 28,233 pregnant women tested HIV-negative at first ANC visit, 40.7% had a follow-up visit when retesting eligible, among whom 84.8% were retested and 0.3%(N = 26) tested HIV+. In CWC, 26,503 women were tested; 0.8%(N = 212) tested HIV+ and 74.1%(N = 157) of HIV+ women were linked to care. Among 157 HEI identified in CWC, 68.4%(N = 145) received PCR testing and 19.3%(N = 28) tested positive.

Conclusion: In ANC, less than half of pregnant women eligible for retesting returned for follow-up visits, and test positivity was low among women retested in ANC and CWC. In CWC, linkage to infant testing was poor and almost 20% of HEI were PCR-positive. Implementing retesting for pregnant and breastfeeding women is challenging due to high numbers of women and low testing yield.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding
  • Child
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control
  • Maternal-Child Health Services*
  • Mozambique / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / epidemiology
  • Pregnant Women
  • Prenatal Care