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Is Zimbabwe ready to transition from anonymous unlinked sero-surveillance to using prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) program data for HIV surveillance?: results of PMTCT utility study, 2012
  • Published Date:
    Feb 29 2016
  • Source:
    BMC Infect Dis. 16.
  • Series:
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-509.33 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    BMC Infect Dis
  • Description:

    Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programs collect socio-demographic and HIV testing information similar to that collected by unlinked anonymous testing sero-surveillance (UAT) in antenatal settings. Zimbabwe evaluated the utility of PMTCT data in replacing UAT.


    A UAT dataset was created by capturing socio-demographic, testing practices from the woman’s booking-card and testing remnant blood at a laboratory from 1 June to 30 September 2012. PMTCT data were collected retrospectively from ANC registers. UAT and PMTCT data were linked by bar-code labels that were temporarily affixed to the ANC register. A questionnaire was used to obtain facility-level data at 53 sites.


    Pooled HIV prevalence was 15.8 % (95 % CI 15.3–16.4) among 17,349 women sampled by UAT, and 16.3 % (95 % CI 15.8 %–16.9 %) among 17,150 women in PMTCT datasets for 53 sites. Pooled national percent-positive agreement (PPA) was 91.2 %, and percent-negative agreement (PNA) was 98.7 % for 16,782 women with matched UAT and PMTCT data. Based on UAT methods, overall median prevalence was 12.9 % (Range 4.0 %–19.4 %) among acceptors and refusers of HIV test in PMTCT compared to 12.5 % ((Range 3.4 %–19.5 %) among acceptors in ANC registers. There were variations in prevalence by site.


    Although, there is no statistical difference between pooled HIV prevalence in UAT compared to PMTCT program, the overall PPA of 91.2 % and PNA of 98.7 % fall below World Health Organisation (WHO) benchmarks of 97.6 % and 99.6 % respectively. Zimbabwe will need to strengthen quality assurance (QA) of rapid HIV testing and data collection practices. Sites with good performance should be prioritised for transitioning.

    Electronic supplementary material

    The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12879-016-1425-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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