Article Text


Knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding infant feeding among HIV-infected pregnant women in Gaborone, Botswana: a cross-sectional survey
  1. Justina Ndubuka1,
  2. Nnamdi Ndubuka2,
  3. Ying Li3,4,
  4. Caitlin M Marshall4,
  5. John Ehiri4
  1. 1School of Population, Community & Behavioural Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  2. 2Botswana-Harvard School of Public Health, AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana
  3. 3Department of Social Medicine & Health Service Management, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China
  4. 4Division of Health Promotion Sciences/Global health Institute, Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor John Ehiri; jehiri{at}


Objectives To assess knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding infant feeding among HIV-positive pregnant women in Gaborone, Botswana, and factors that influence their infant feeding choices.

Design A cross-sectional study.

Methods and study setting A questionnaire survey of 96 HIV-positive pregnant women attending four public infectious disease control clinics in Gaborone, Botswana.

Results Only about half of the study participants had knowledge about prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services related to breastfeeding, and very few (19.8%) chose to breastfeed their infants exclusively. Results of multiple logistic regression analysis showed that receiving infant feeding counselling as part of the PMTCT programme was significantly associated with a decision to exclusively breastfeed (OR (95% CI) 5.38 (1.83 to 15.81)). Similarly, HIV-positive pregnant women who received breastfeeding counselling through the PMTCT programme had higher knowledge of PMTCT practices related to appropriate infant feeding (OR (95% CI) 5.91 (1.06 to 34.31)). Women who did not express concern about HIV stigma had significantly higher knowledge of PMTCT practices related to infant feeding (OR (95% CI) 5.91 (1.69 to 15.56)). Knowledge of PMTCT practices related to breastfeeding was negatively associated with the belief that breastfeeding could transmit HIV to the baby (OR (95% CI) 9.73 (3.37 to 28.08)).

Conclusions Knowledge, attitudes and practices related to breastfeeding among HIV-positive pregnant women need further improvement, and the PMTCT programme should strengthen infant feeding counselling services to assist HIV-positive mothers in making informed and appropriate decisions regarding infant feeding.

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.