Men in sub-Saharan Africa have lower rates of HIV testing and are less likely to initiate treatment compared to women. Service delivery dimensions are a key factor in facilitating engagement along the HIV treatment continuum for men and women, yet male specific overall perceptions of the service delivery environment have received little attention in West Africa. This study draws on qualitative data collected in Côte d’Ivoire to explore provider-level and structural factors affecting men’s engagement in HIV testing and treatment through interviews and focus group discussions conducted with health workers and men living with HIV (some on ART) or whose HIV status was unknown. Factors influencing decisions to test or initiate treatment were considered in terms of perceived benefits and costs. Men described costs at the interpersonal (client-provider) level, such as unwanted disclosure or stigma, which were weighed against the potential for social support and clinical guidance. Likewise, fear of unwanted disclosure operated at the facility level, as the layout of facilities sometimes grouped clients living with HIV together. Notably, the benefits men described from engaging in HIV testing and care all operated at the interpersonal level and none at the facility level. In light of the fact that provider- and facility-level factors influenced the perceptions and experiences of men along the treatment continuum, we offer recommendations to reduce barriers to testing and engagement in care related to service delivery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)