Barriers to male-partner participation in programs to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission in south Africa

Kevin Koo, Jennifer D. Makin, Brian W.C. Forsyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Efforts to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) in sub Saharan Africa have focused overwhelmingly on women, to the unintended exclusion of their male partners. A cross sectional study was conducted in Tshwane, South Africa, to determine barriers to male-partner participation during PMTCT. In depth interviews were conducted with 124 men whose partners had recently been pregnant, and five focus group discussions were held with physicians, nurses, HIV counselors, and community representatives. Qualitative analysis revealed that while most fathers believed that HIV testing is an important part of preparing for fatherhood, there are formidable structural and psychosocial barriers: the perception of clinics as not "male friendly," a narrow focus on HIV testing instead of general wellness, and a lack of expectations and opportunities for fathers to participate in health care. Coupled with more family oriented approaches to PMTCT, measurable improvements in the way that male partners are invited to and engaged in HIV prevention during pregnancy can help PMTCT programs to achieve their full potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-24
Number of pages11
JournalAIDS Education and Prevention
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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