Temporal Trends and Determinants of HIV Testing at Antenatal Care in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Pooled Analysis of Population-Based Surveys (2005-2021)

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2024 Jan 1;95(1S):e97-e105. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000003329. Epub 2024 Jan 4.


Background: In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), integrating HIV testing into antenatal care (ANC) has been crucial toward reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. With the introduction of new testing modalities, we explored temporal trends in HIV testing within and outside of ANC and identified sociodemographic determinants of testing during ANC.

Methods: We analyzed data from 139 nationally representative household surveys conducted between 2005 and 2021, including more than 2.2 million women aged 15-49 years in 41 SSA countries. We extracted data on women's recent HIV testing history (<24 months), by modality (ie, at ANC versus outside of ANC) and sociodemographic variables (ie, age, socioeconomic status, education level, number of births, urban/rural). We used Bayesian generalized linear mixed models to estimate HIV testing coverage and the proportion of those that tested as part of ANC.

Results: HIV testing coverage (<24 months) increased substantially between 2005 and 2021 from 8% to 38%, with significant variations between countries and subregions. Two percent of women received an HIV test in the 24 months preceding the survey interview as part of ANC in 2005 and 11% in 2021. Among women who received an HIV test in the 24 months preceding the survey, the probability of testing at ANC was significantly greater for multiparous, adolescent girls, rural women, women in the poorest wealth quintile, and women in West and Central Africa.

Conclusion: ANC testing remains an important component to achieving high levels of HIV testing coverage and benefits otherwise underserved women, which could prove instrumental to progress toward universal knowledge of HIV status in SSA.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Africa South of the Sahara / epidemiology
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections* / prevention & control
  • HIV Testing
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care*