Assessment of Exclusive Breast-Feeding Practice among HIV-Positive Mothers in Abuja Nigeria


  •   Casmir Ifeanyichukwu Cajetan Ifeanyi

  •   Janet Aribike

  •   Nkiruka Florence Ikeneche

  •   Lovina Nkechi Ukwueze

  •   Gladys Adaku Iroegbu


Background: Empirically, exclusive breastfeeding has proved invaluable in the reduction of mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus and infant mortality particularly of children under-five years. Regrettably, breastfeeding practice is not widespread in most resource-poor sub-Saharan countries in Africa including Nigeria.

Objective: This study assessed the practice of exclusive breastfeeding of infants for the first-six months of life by HIV-positive mothers after receiving care for prevention of mother-to-child transmission.

Methods: Between February 2019 and September 2021, a cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among 388 HIV-positive mothers receiving care for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV at the Gwarinpa General Hospital in Abuja Municipal Area Council. HIV-positive mothers were enrolled and assessed for their practice of exclusive breastfeeding for the first-six months of the infant life. Structured questionnaires were used to survey for their socio-demographics, reproductive history, HIV and exclusive breastfeeding characteristics. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science version SPSS 24.

Results: Overall, 68% of the HIV-positive mothers practiced exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Majority, 83% of the HIV-positive mothers had knowledge of the nutritional benefits of breast milk in the first-six months of infant’s life. In addition, 75% of them are aware that babies exclusively breastfed are healthier than those not so breastfed. Religious beliefs and education status positively influenced exclusive breastfeeding in 82% and 55% of the mothers respectively. However, 69% of HIV-positive mothers attest they had no communal norms and taboos against exclusive breastfeeding. In contrast, mothers’ occupation negatively influenced exclusive breastfeeding in 36% of the studied subjects.

Conclusion: This study found a significant increase in the rate of exclusive breastfeeding by HIV-positive mothers. It is evident that the practice of exclusive breastfeeding by HIV-positive mothers is dependent on their level of knowledge and awareness of its benefits in the first-six months of infant’s life.

Keywords: Assessment, exclusive breastfeeding, HIV-positive, infant, mother-to-child


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How to Cite
Cajetan Ifeanyi, C. I., Aribike, J., Ikeneche, N. F., Ukwueze, L. N., & Iroegbu, G. A. (2022). Assessment of Exclusive Breast-Feeding Practice among HIV-Positive Mothers in Abuja Nigeria. European Journal of Clinical Medicine, 3(2), 13–19.