The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of HIV infection among pregnant adolescents and adolescent mothers and to assess risk factors associated with HIV infection.
This was an analytical cross sectional study among pregnant adolescents and adolescent mothers, carried out from April to May 2018 in the Kumbo West Health District (KWHD) of Cameroon. We used a multistage sampling design to select 6 health areas. In each of these 6 health areas selected, proportionate sampling method was employed to get 400 participants from the health areas. Data was collected using structured questionnaires and analysed using SPSS version 21. We adjusted for confounding variables (age category, sexual debut, multiple sex partners, irregular/no use of condoms) by carrying out multivariate binary logistic regression.
We used 400 adolescents (68 pregnant and 332 mothers), with mean age 14.5 years (SD = 0.21). The overall prevalence of HIV infection was 4.58% (95% CI: 2.7-6.7) even though, the prevalence of HIV in pregnant adolescents was (4.9%) compared to that in adolescent mothers (3.2%) though not statistically significant (p = 0.74). The significant HIV associated risk factors discovered among the two categories were; HIV infection occurring mostly in late adolescence: 15-19 years (AOR 2.05; 95% CI 1.11-4.24), sexual debut before the age of 14 (AOR 2.40; 95% CI 1.14-5.04), having had 2 or more sexual partners in the last 12 months (AOR 1.51; 95% CI 1.04-3.15), and irregular or no use of condom (AOR 1.20; 95% CI 1.04-1.53).
There is a need to address adolescent pregnancy not only as a health outcome but as a risk factor for HIV infection. Preventing adolescent pregnancies is important in a comprehensive HIV prevention in Cameroon.