Background: Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis are two important public health problems in many developing countries. In Peru, syphilis and HIV screening coverage has improved since the introduction of rapid tests by the CISNE Project (Spanish acronym "Immediate Cure for Neonatal Syphilis") and Ministry of Health (MOH) in 2010. The aim of this study was to determine the acceptability of HIV/Syphilis Duo rapid testing among antenatal care service providers.
Methods: In September 2013, a cross-sectional survey was conducted with professional midwives in Ventanilla in northern Callao, Peru. First, we trained midwives from 10 health centers in the operation of the HIV/Syphilis Duo (SD Bioline) rapid test. After one month, we surveyed the midwives about their attitudes regarding the test.
Results: Of the 28 midwives surveyed, 100% reported satisfaction with the Duo rapid test and 100% considered that the Duo test is better than separate HIV and syphilis rapid tests. Participants’ reasons for preferring the Duo test were: 72% since it uses only one drop of blood to provide both results, 21% because it uses only one test cassette, and 7% since they felt well-trained. Thirty-two percent (9/28) also identified difficulties with the test cassette (packaging, color of the numbers and letters).
Conclusions: Antenatal care service providers are very receptive to the use of the HIV/Syphilis Duo rapid test. They identified many advantages of the test that could support the introduction of Duo tests as the standard of care in pregnancy care and recommendations that, if modified, could optimize the testing process.