OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the infant-feeding choices, practices and possible determinants among HIV-positive women enrolled in a prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme in Ibadan, Nigeria. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey involving HIV-positive women who had received infant-feeding counselling prior to delivery. A structured questionnaire was administered at < or = 72 hrs and not > or = 6 weeks of delivery and was complemented with an in-depth interview. RESULTS: A total of 241 women were studied. The choice of infant feeding was formula for 223 (93.5%) and in actual practice, 9 (3.7%) mothers admitted mixed feeding. There was no statistical significant difference between the feeding pattern and the socio-demographic characteristics. The major factor influencing the choice of infant feeding was "The desire to reduce the risk of transmission" which was recorded among 204 (84.6%) of the women. Greatest support in maintaining infant-feeding option was the spouse (36.1%). From the in-depth interview of 23 non-breastfeeding (infant formula) mothers, the major challenge faced was stigmatisation. CONCLUSION: Despite the premium placed on breastfeeding in this locality, with infant-feeding counselling, most HIV-positive women chose and practiced formula feeding. It is necessary to address how best HIV-positive mothers could handle or overcome criticisms and stigmatisation by others.
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