Attitudes and practices of obstetric care providers in Kabul, Afghanistan regarding antenatal testing for sexually transmitted infection

Catherine S. Todd, Malalay Ahmadzai, Jeffrey M. Smith, Hadia Siddiqui, Syed Alef Shah Ghazanfar, Steffanie A. Strathdee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To determine attitudes toward and utilization of testing for HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B among obstetric care providers in Kabul, Afghanistan. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting: Three public maternity hospitals in Kabul, Afghanistan. Participants: One hundred and fourteen (114) doctors and midwives. MainOutcome Measure: Prevalence and correlates of ever having tested patients for HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B and agreement with statements concerning attitudes toward testing and care. Results: Less than half of the patient care providers surveyed had previously tested a patient for HIV, syphilis, or hepatitis B. Presumed rarity of these infections in Afghanistan was the most frequently stated reason for not testing, although many midwives stated that they did not have the authority to order tests. Most providers supported testing to promote neonatal health, but some midwives expressed concern regarding patient and family perceptions. Conclusions: Due to logistical and cultural barriers, obstetric care providers underutilize testing for antenatal patients in Afghanistan. Improved training, empowerment of female providers, and availability of rapid testing are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-615
Number of pages9
JournalJOGNN - Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing
Volume37
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Afghanistan
  • Antenatal testing
  • HIV stigma
  • Hepatitis B
  • Provider attitudes
  • STIs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Critical Care
  • Maternity and Midwifery

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