Male involvement in prevention programs of mother to child transmission of HIV: a systematic review to identify barriers and facilitators

Systematic Reviews 01/2013; 2(1):5. DOI: 10.1186/2046-4053-2-5
Source: PubMed


Many reports point to the beneficial effect of male partner involvement in programs for the prevention of mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT) of HIV in curbing pediatric HIV infections. This paper summarizes the barriers and facilitators of male involvement in prevention programs of mother-to-child-transmission of HIV.
We searched PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) for studies published in English from 1998 to March 2012. We included studies conducted in a context of antenatal care or PMTCT of HIV reporting male actions that affected female uptake of PMTCT services. We did not target any specific interventions for this review.
We identified 24 studies from peer-reviewed journals; 21 from sub-Saharan Africa, 2 from Asia and 1 from Europe. Barriers to male PMTCT involvement were mainly at the level of the society, the health system and the individual. The most pertinent was the societal perception of antenatal care and PMTCT as a woman’s activity, and it was unacceptable for men to be involved. Health system factors such as long waiting times at the antenatal care clinic and the male unfriendliness of PMTCT services were also identified. The lack of communication within the couple, the reluctance of men to learn their HIV status, the misconception by men that their spouse’s HIV status was a proxy of theirs, and the unwillingness of women to get their partners involved due to fear of domestic violence, stigmatization or divorce were among the individual factors.
Actions shown to facilitate male PMTCT involvement were either health system actions or factors directly tied to the individuals. Inviting men to the hospital for voluntary counseling and HIV testing and offering of PMTCT services to men at sites other than antenatal care were key health system facilitators. Prior knowledge of HIV and prior male HIV testing facilitated their involvement. Financial dependence of women was key to facilitating spousal involvement.
There is need for health system amendments and context-specific adaptations of public policy on PMTCT services to break down the barriers to and facilitate male PMTCT involvement.
Trial Registration
The protocol for this review was registered with the International prospective register of systematic reviews (PROSPERO) record CRD42011001703.

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    • "This led their spouses to decline seeking medical care and, more so, hospital admission in order to look after the children. This finding is consistent with evidence from previous studies, which demonstrated that male involvement is an important factor in facilitating women’s access to HIV-related services [42]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background There is limited understanding of the factors that influence decisions to seek HIV care and treatment services in community settings. The aim of this study was to explore the socio-cultural and health system factors affecting health-seeking behaviour among deceased women in Kenya who were living with HIV at the time of death. Methods Out of a total of 796 deaths for which a caregiver was available to provide information, retrospective data were drawn from verbal and social autopsies administered to caregivers of 218 women who had died of AIDS-related illnesses aged 15 to 49 years. Information was collected on essential elements of the care-seeking process from the onset of severe illness episodes and analysed using qualitative and quantitative techniques. Results Results from the quantitative data showed that poor women were less likely to access formal health services (OR = 0.2; p < 0.001) compared to non-poor women. The qualitative data showed that socioeconomic status, poor knowledge and understanding of AIDS-related illness, distance to facility and transportation costs, medical pluralism, stigma, low HIV risk perception, lack of family support and health care system barriers contributed to delays/constraints in seeking care. Conclusions The findings highlight important issues that have implications for addressing challenges faced by women living with HIV, including non-adherence to treatment regimen and late diagnosis of HIV. Provision of transportation subsidies as part of the national social safety-net strategy can help in addressing financial constraints associated with transportation costs among poor women living with HIV.
    BMC Women's Health 06/2014; 14(1):77. DOI:10.1186/1472-6874-14-77 · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    • "Some of the most pertinent barriers identified include the cultural perception, and often societal norm, that men do not participate in reproductive health services and that the facilities where these are offered are not male-friendly [22]. Various strategies have been utilised to encourage more male partner participation, and amongst them, healthcare provider-driven initiatives to invite men to be part of reproductive and PMTCT programmes, and community-based strategies which include male peer support groups and community campaigns [22,23]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background There is great impetus to achieve elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (eMTCT) by 2015, and part of this is to identify factors to target to achieve the goal. This study thus identified key patient factors for MTCT in a high HIV prevalence setting in Johannesburg, South Africa. Between November 2010 and May 2012, we conducted a case–control study among HIV-infected women with HIV-infected (cases) and uninfected (controls) infants diagnosed around six weeks of age as part of routine, early infant diagnosis. Mothers and infants were identified through registers in six healthcare facilities that provide antenatal, postpartum and HIV care. Structured interviews were conducted with a focus on history of HIV infection, antenatal, intrapartum and immediate postpartum management of the mother-infant pair. Patient-related risk factors for MTCT were identified. Results A total of 77 women with HIV-infected infants and 154 with –uninfected infants were interviewed. Among HIV-infected cases, 13.0% of the women knew their HIV status prior to conception, and 83.1% reported their pregnancies as unplanned. Antenatal antiretroviral coverage was high in the control group – only 1/154 (0.7%) reported receiving no prophylaxis or treatment compared with 17/74 (22.9%) of cases. In multivariate analysis, key patient-related risks for HIV transmission were: unknown HIV status prior to conception (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 6.6; 95% CI = 2.4 – 18.4; p < 0.001); accessing antenatal care after 20 weeks gestation (AOR = 4.3; 95% CI = 2.0 – 9.3; p < 0.001); less than 12 years of formal education (AOR = 3.4; 95% CI = 1.6 – 7.5; p = 0.002); and unplanned pregnancy (AOR = 2.7; 95% CI = 1.2 to 6.3; p = 0.022). Mean age at first HIV test was 6.6 weeks (SD = 3.5) for infants who were diagnosed as HIV-infected, and the mean age at antiretroviral treatment initiation was 10.8 weeks (SD = 4.4). HIV-uninfected infants were diagnosed at a mean age of 6.0 weeks (SD = 0.2). Conclusions Undiagnosed maternal HIV infection prior to conception, unplanned pregnancies, delays in accessing antenatal care, and low levels of education were the most significant patient risk factors associated with MTCT. While the emphasis has been on increasing availability and coverage of efficacious antiretroviral regimens, and strengthening health systems within eMTCT initiatives, there is a need to also address patient-related factors if we are to achieve eMTCT goals.
    Globalization and Health 05/2014; 10(1):36. DOI:10.1186/1744-8603-10-36 · 2.25 Impact Factor
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    • "Besides, 6.8% and 2.8% of women claimed to have got no support at all and very poor support from their male partner during antenatal care. This might have happened due to male individual factor barriers, information/knowledge barriers, female individual factors, and relationship dynamics according to a systematic review carried out to identify contributors to low male involvement in ANC/PMTCT services [25]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV infection remains a major public health problem and constitutes the most important cause of HIV infection in children under the age of 15 years old. Awareness on MTCT of HIV and knowledge of its timing usually pose a direct effect on utilization of PMTCT services (mainly HIV testing, infant feeding options and antiretroviral use). The objective of this study is to assess pregnant women's knowledge on timing of MTCT of HIV in Southern Ethiopia. A cross sectional study was conducted in 62 health centers in Southern Ethiopia from February 25 to March 24, 2012. A total of 1325 antenatal care attending women were included in the survey by using a multistage sampling technique. Data were collected using a structured and pre-tested questionnaire. Multiple logistic regression analysis was employed to identify variables associated with women's knowledge on timing of MTCT of HIV. All interviewed pregnant women were aware of HIV/AIDS transmission, but only 60.7% were aware of the risk of MTCT. The possibility of MTCT during pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding was known by 48.4%, 58.6% and 40.7% of the respondents, respectively. The proportion of women who were fully knowledgeable on timing of MTCT was 11.5%. Women's full knowledge on timing of MTCT was associated with maternal education [AOR = 3.68, 95% CI: 1.49-9.08], and being government employee [AOR = 2.50, 95%CI: 1.23- 5.07]. Whereas, there was a negative association between full knowledge of women on timing of MTCT and no offer of information on MTCT/PMTCT by antenatal care (ANC) service provider [AOR = 0.44, 95% CI: 0.30-0.64], lack of discussion on ANC with male partner [AOR = 0.30, 95% CI: 0.12-0.72], and lack of discussion on HIV/AIDS with male partner [AOR = 0.17, 95% CI: 0.07-0.43]. There was low awareness and knowledge on timing of MTCT of HIV in this study. Hence, strengthening the level of PMTCT services in ANC settings and devising mechanisms to promote involvement of men in PMTCT services is needed.
    Reproductive Health 12/2013; 10(1):66. DOI:10.1186/1742-4755-10-66 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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