Women's preferences, expectations, and experiences with male partner support throughout prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV services: a mixed-methods study.

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DOI: 10.1080/09540121.2020.1859444


Male involvement in prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) care improves maternal and child outcomes. We conducted a mixed-methods study at two Kenyan government hospitals. We quantitatively assessed women's expectations and preferences for male partner involvement in PMTCT and male partner attendance at PMTCT appointments. Qualitative interviews with women during the postpartum period assessed types of support women received from their male partners. At enrollment, most participants wanted (75%) and expected (69%) male partners to attend appointments; yet, only 9% had a male partner attend any appointments. Most women agreed that their partner would: support them financially (81%), help follow doctor's guidance (61%), support a hospital-based delivery (85%), and want to receive text messages (68%). Expectations and preferences varied by women's characteristics, most notably experiences with mistreatment, disclosure status, and knowledge of male partner's HIV status. In qualitative interviews, instrumental (financial) support was the most frequently discussed type of support. Male partners also provided informational support by reminding women of medication or appointments. Women reported a variety of ways in which their male partners supported them through PMTCT; however, there was a gap between women's expectation for male partner attendance and the level of male attendance achieved.

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AIDS care





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MeSH Keywords

Child; Female; HIV Infections; Humans; Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical; Kenya; Male; Motivation; Pregnancy; Pregnancy Complications, Infectious; Sexual Partners; Social Support


Kenya; Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT); antenatal care; male partner involvement

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