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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 25, Issue 4, Pages 201-206
Original Article

Acceptability, Predictors and Attitudes of Canadian Women in Labour Toward Point-of-Care HIV Testing At A Single Labour and Delivery Unit

Salikah Iqbal,1 Leanne R De Souza,2 and Mark H Yudin1,2

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toronto, Canada
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2014 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


OBJECTIVE: To assess attitudes and opinions surrounding point-of-care HIV testing among Canadian women, and to determine predictors for acceptance of testing.

METHODS: A survey assessing acceptability and attitudes toward rapid HIV testing was distributed on the labour and delivery unit in an academic hospital (St Michael’s Hospital) in Toronto, Ontario, in 2011. Information collected included demographic data, health and pregnancy history, willingness to undergo rapid HIV testing while in labour and barriers to testing.

RESULTS: Responses in 92 completed questionnaires were analyzed. The mean age of respondents was 32 years and all were HIV negative. Twelve percent of patients reported having at least one risk factor for HIV transmission. The study showed that only 59% of women were willing to be tested at the time of survey completion, and these women stated that they would accept saliva, urine or serum testing. If found to be positive, 96% would accept antiretroviral treatment and 94% would formula feed their infants. Of the 41% who were not willing to be tested, their reasons for refusal included “don’t want to know” (39%) and being in “too much labour pain” (29%). Regardless of willingness to be tested, the most frequently cited barriers to testing were social stigma (64%) and reaction from partners (69%).

CONCLUSIONS: Canadian women in labour were willing to undergo rapid HIV testing via urine, saliva or serum. If found to be positive, women were willing to undergo treatment and to formula feed to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.