Disparities in HIV screening among pregnant women – El Salvador, 2011

Published December 9, 2013, in PLOS ONE (opens in a new window)


Objectives: To provide an accurate estimate of antenatal HIV screening and its determinants among pregnant women in El Salvador and help local authorities make informed decisions for targeted interventions around mother-to-child transmission (MTCT).


A total sample of 4,730 women aged 15-49 years were interviewed from a random sample of 3,625 households. We collected data on antenatal care services, including HIV screening, during last pregnancy through a pre-established questionnaire. We used a backward elimination multivariate logistic regression model to examine the association between HIV screening and sociodemographic and health-care-related factors.


A total of 2,929 women were included in this analysis. About 98% of participants reported receiving antenatal care, but only 83% of these reported being screened for HIV. Screening was lower in geographic areas with higher HIV incidence and ranged from 69.1% among women who were not seen by a physician during antenatal care, to 93.7% among those who attended or completed college. Odds for screening varied also by age, employment status, household economic expenditure, possession of health care coverage, health care settings, and number of antenatal care visits.


We found disparities in HIV screening during antenatal care at the environmental, social, demographic, and structural levels despite a high uptake of antenatal care in El Salvador. Our findings should urge health authorities to tailor and enhance current strategies implemented to eliminate MTCT and reduce inequities and HIV morbidity among women in El Salvador.

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El Bcheraoui C, Gómez AIN, Abrego MAD, Gagnier MC, Sutton MY, Mokdad AH. Disparities in HIV screening among pregnant women – El Salvador, 2011PLoS ONE. 2013 Dec 9; 8(12).