Surveillance of Mother-to-child HIV Transmission: Socioeconomic and Health Care Coverage Indicators

Revista de Saúde Pública, Dececember 2009; 43(6):1006-14.

Barcellos C, Acosta LM, Lisboa E, Bastos FI. 

“OBJECTIVE: To identify clustering areas of infants exposed to HIV during pregnancy and their association with indicators of primary care coverage and socioeconomic condition.

“METHODS: Ecological study where the unit of analysis was primary care coverage areas in the city of Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil, in 2003. Geographical Information System and spatial analysis tools were used to describe indicators of primary care coverage areas and socioeconomic condition, and estimate the prevalence of liveborn infants exposed to HIV during pregnancy and delivery. Data was obtained from Brazilian national databases. The association between different indicators was assessed using Spearman’s nonparametric test.

“RESULTS: There was found an association between HIV infection and high birth rates (r=0.22, p<0.01) and lack of prenatal care (r=0.15, p<0.05). The highest HIV infection rates were seen in areas with poor socioeconomic conditions and difficult access to health services (r=0.28, p<0.01). The association found between higher rate of prenatal care among HIV-infected women and adequate immunization coverage (r=0.35, p<0.01) indicates that early detection of HIV infection is effective in those areas with better primary care services.

“CONCLUSIONS: Urban poverty is a strong determinant of mother-to-child HIV transmission but this trend can be fought with health surveillance at the primary care level.”