Male Perspectives on Incorporating Men into Antenatal HIV Counseling and Testing

"Male Perspectives on Incorporating Men into Antenatal HIV Counseling and Testing."; 2009.


ackground: Male partner involvement in antenatal voluntary HIV counseling and testing (VCT) has been shown to increase
uptake of interventions to reduce the risk of HIV transmission in resource-limited settings. We aimed to identify methods for
increasing male involvement in antenatal VCT and determine male correlates of accepting couple counseling in these
Methodology/Principal Findings: We invited women presenting to a Nairobi antenatal clinic to return with their male
partners for individual or couples VCT. Male attitudes towards VCT and correlates of accompanying female partners to
antenatal clinic and receiving couple counseling were determined. Of 1,993 women who invited their partner, 313 (16%)
returned with their partners to ANC. Men attending antenatal clinic were married (.99%), employed (98%), and unlikely to
report prior HIV testing (14%). Wanting an HIV test (87%) or health information (11%) were the most commonly cited
reasons for attending. Most (95%) men who came to antenatal clinic accepted HIV testing and 39% elected to receive
counseling as a couple. Men who received counseling with partners were younger, had fewer children, and were less
knowledgeable about prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) than those who received counseling
individually (p,0.05). Only 27% of men stated they would prefer HIV testing at a site other than the ANC. There was
agreement between male and female reports for sociodemographic characteristics; however, men were more likely to
report HIV preventive behaviors and health communication within the partnership than their partners (p,0.05).
Conclusions/Significance: Offering VCT services to men at antenatal clinic with options for couple and individual
counseling is an important opportunity and acceptable strategy for increasing male involvement in PMTCT and promoting
male HIV testing.


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