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Examining the relationship between interpersonal support and retention in HIV care among HIV+ nursing mothers in Uganda.



The global burden of HIV on women and pediatric populations are severe in sub-Saharan Africa. Global child HIV infection rates have declined, but this rate remains quite high in sub-Saharan Africa due to Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). To prevent MTCT of HIV, postpartum women living with HIV (WLHIV) are required to return to a health facility for HIV care within 60 days after childbirth (Retention in HIV care). Studies suggest that interpersonal support was positively associated with retention in HIV care. However, information on this association is lacking among postpartum WLHIV in Uganda. Therefore, this study investigates the relationship between interpersonal support, measured with the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List (ISEL-12), and retention in HIV care.


In a total of 155 postpartum WLHIV, 84% were retained in HIV care. ISEL-12 was negatively associated with retention in HIV care. Postpartum WLHIV retained in care (24.984 ± 4.549) have lower ISEL-12 scores compared to the non-retained group (27.520 ± 4.224), t(35.572) = - 2.714, p = 0.01. In the non-income earning sample, respondents retained in care (24.110 ± 4.974) have lower ISEL scores compared to the non-retained group (27.000 ± 4.855), t(20.504) = -2.019, p = 0.049. This was not significant among income earning WLHIV.

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