HIV infection among pregnant women in Burkina Faso: a nationwide serosurvey

Int J STD AIDS. 1997 Oct;8(10):646-51. doi: 10.1258/0956462971918797.


To determine the prevalence of HIV infection among pregnant women in Burkina Faso and to identify factors associated with HIV infection in this population, we performed in 4 antenatal clinics in 4 urban centres located in the centre, the north, the east and the south-west of the country cross-sectional serological surveys between 7 October 1994 and 7 February 1995 using unlinked anonymous HIV screening method. In the towns included in the study more than 94% of pregnant women attend at least 2 antenatal consultations. In each centre all pregnant women attending an antenatal consultation during a 2-week period were invited to take part in a study to measure the prevalence of syphilis. Women with positive syphilis serology were offered treatment free of charge. A total of 1294 pregnant women were recruited into the study. There were no refusals. Thirty-two women (2.5%) had positive syphilis serology. The overall seroprevalence of HIV infection was 8% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 6.6-9.6). There was no evidence that the prevalence of syphilis or HIV infection varied between the 4 towns (P=0.12 and 0.52 respectively). In logistic regression analyses only the presence of syphilis infection was associated with risk of HIV (odds ratio=3.4; 95% CI: 1.4-7.9). The prevalence of syphilis among pregnant women in Burkina Faso is relatively low compared with that of HIV infection. These results suggest that HIV epidemic in Burkina Faso is important and that there is an urgent need to intensify HIV-prevention activities. The need for HIV surveillance in this sentinel population is urgent to follow the course of the epidemic and to measure the impact of interventions. One of the consequences of the high prevalence of HIV infection among pregnant women which requires greater attention in Burkina Faso is the increasing number of children who will be infected with HIV by vertical transmission.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Burkina Faso / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Seroprevalence*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Population Surveillance
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Syphilis / epidemiology
  • Urban Health