The prevalence of and factors associated with HIV viral load non-suppression among pregnant and lactating women at Masaka regional referral hospital- across sectional survey
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Introduction: Every year, about 1.4 million women living with HIV become pregnant and 1.1million pregnant women use antiretroviral therapy. In Uganda, HIV viral load suppression forretained and disengaged pregnant and lactating women on ART care is at 89.5% and 39% respectively (Kiragga et al. 2021). There is no data linking HIV non-suppression and associated factors among pregnant and lactating women on ART care in Masaka Regional Referral Hospital. Hence, this study determined the prevalence of HIV non-virologic suppression and associated factors among HIV-positive pregnant and breast-feeding women attending Masaka Regional Referral Hospital. Method: This was a hospital-based cross-sectional survey of 220 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers employing quantitative techniques of data collection and analysis. Associations were tested using both chi-square and t-test. Results: The prevalence of HIV viral load non-suppression is 11% among pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Non-suppression is significantly associated with moderate level of adherence, less ability to pay for food, health, inaccessibility to ARVs due to COVID-19 and being diseased from chronic diseases, but not income level, residence (urban or rural), marital status, treatment support from a supporter, the formality of occupation, education level, age,transfer ins and outs, ARV regimen change, ANC attendance, enteric, PTB, PID, Abnormal Vaginal Discharge (AVD), Genital ulcer disease (GUD), hypertension, Malaria complicated and Surgical diseases, gravidity and parity was not associated with non-suppression among pregnant and breast-feeding mothers. Conclusion: The prevalence of non-suppression for HIV among pregnant and breastfeeding mothers at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital is relatively high. It could be reduced significantly through adequate levels of adherence assessment, response based on Intensified Adherence counseling (AIC) MoH protocol and embracing the differentiated service delivery models.