Increasing pediatric HIV testing positivity rates through focused testing in high-yield points of service in health facilities—Nigeria, 2016-2017

Solomon Odafe, Dennis Onotu, Johnson Omodele Fagbamigbe, Uzoma Ene, Emilia Rivadeneira, Deborah Carpenter, Austin I. Omoigberale, Yakubu Adamu, Ismail Lawal, Ezekiel James, Andrew T. Boyd, Emilio Dirlikov, Mahesh Swaminathan

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2 Scopus citations


Background In 2017, UNAIDS estimated that 140,000 children aged 0–14 years are living with HIV in Nigeria, but only 35% have been diagnosed and are receiving antiretroviral therapy. Children are tested primarily in outpatient clinics, which show low HIV-positive rates. To demonstrate efficient facility-based HIV testing among children aged 0–14 years, we evaluated pediatric HIV-positivity rates in points of service in select health facilities in Nigeria. Methods We conducted a retrospective analysis of HIV testing and case identification among children aged 0–14 years at all points of service at nine purposively sampled hospitals (November 2016–March 2017). Points of service included family index testing, pediatric outpatient department (POPD), tuberculosis (TB) clinics, immunization clinics, and pediatric inpatient ward. Eligibility for testing at POPD was done using a screening tool while all children with unknown status were eligible for HIV test at other points of service. The main outcome was HIV positivity rates stratified by the testing point of service and by age group. Predictors of an HIV-positive result were assessed using logistic regression. All analyses were done using Stata 15 statistical software. Results Of 2,180 children seen at all facility points of service with unknown HIV status, 1,822 (83.6%) were tested for HIV, of whom 43 (2.4%) tested HIV positive. The numbers of children tested by age group were <1 years = 230 (12.6%); 1–4 years = 752 (41.3%); 5–9 years = 520 (28.5%); and 10–14 years = 320 (17.6%). The number of children tested by point of service were POPD = 906 (49.7%); family index testing = 693 (38.0%); pediatric inpatient ward = 192 (10.5%); immunization clinic = 16 (0.9%); and TB clinic = 15 (0.8%). HIV positivity rates by point of service were TB clinic = 6.7% (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.9–35.2%); pediatric inpatient ward = 4.7% (95%CI: 2.5–8.8%); family index testing = 3.5% (95%CI: 2.3–5.1%); POPD = 1.0% (95%CI: 0.5–1.9%); and immunization clinic = 0%. The percentage contribution to total HIV positive children found by point of services was: family index testing = 55.8% (95%CI: 40.9–69.8%); POPD = 20.9% (95%CI: 11.3–35.6%); inpatient ward = 20.9 (95%CI: 11.3–35.6%) and TB Clinic = 2.3% (95%CI: 0.3–14.8%). Compared with the POPD, the adjusted odds ratio (95% CI) for finding an HIV positive child by point of service were TB clinic = 7.2 (95% CI: 0.9–60.9); pediatric inpatient ward = 4.9 (95% CI: 1.9–12.8); and family index testing = 3.7 (95% CI: 1.5–8.8). HIV-positivity rates did not significantly differ by age group. Conclusion In Nigeria, to improve facility-based HIV positivity rates among children aged 0–14 years, an increased focus on HIV testing among children seeking care in pediatric inpatient wards, through family index testing, and perhaps TB clinics is appropriate.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0234717
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


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