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DOI: 10.1186/s12884-023-06216-x; PMCID: PMC10775612


BACKGROUND: Some studies indicate that pregnant Kenyan women were concerned about Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) exposure during maternity care. We assessed concern regarding COVID-19 exposure and any impact on antenatal care (ANC) enrollment and/or hospital delivery among pregnant women living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Kenya.

METHODS: Data were collected from 1,478 pregnant women living with HIV enrolled in prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) care at 12 Kenyan hospitals from October 2020 to July 2022. Surveys were conducted when women first presented for PMTCT services at the study hospital and asked demographic questions as well as items related to concerns about COVID-19. A 5-point Likert scale (strongly disagree to strongly agree) assessed concerns about COVID-19 exposure and travel challenges. Gestational age at PMTCT enrollment, number of ANC appointments attended, and delivery location were compared among women who expressed COVID-19 concerns and those who did not.

RESULTS: Few women reported delaying antenatal care (4.7%), attending fewer antenatal care appointments (5.0%), or having concerns about a hospital-based delivery (7.7%) because of COVID-19. More (25.8%) reported travel challenges because of COVID-19. There were no significant differences in gestational age at enrollment, number of ANC appointments, or rates of hospital-based delivery between women with concerns about COVID-19 and those without, CONCLUSION: Few pregnant women living with HIV expressed concerns about COVID-19 exposure in the context of routine ANC or delivery care. Women with and without concerns had similar care seeking behaviors. The recognized importance of routine ANC care and facility-based deliveries may have contributed to these positive pregnancy indicators, even among women who worried about COVID-19 exposure.

CLINICALTRIALS: gov identifier NCT04571684.

Journal Title

BMC pregnancy and childbirth [electronic resource]





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MeSH Keywords

Pregnancy; Child; Humans; Female; Kenya; COVID-19; Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical; Maternal Health Services; Pregnant Women; HIV Infections


COVID-19; HITSystem; HIV; Kenya; Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT)


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