Piloting Gain and Loss-Framed PrEP and Childbearing Messaging to Promote HIV Testing in Uganda: Perspectives from Couples and Providers.
Fears of relationship dissolution and the inability to bear healthy children remain barriers to HIV testing in sub-Saharan Africa. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) carries both clinical and symbolic benefits that counter these fears. We conducted a pilot messaging intervention through Uganda's assisted partner notification (APN) program, where providers assist HIV-positive index clients in notifying sexual partners and encourage testing. We randomized providers at three clinics to implement phone scripts over two months with (1) gain-framed or (2) loss-framed information about PrEP and childbearing; or (3) usual care. In 23 in-depth interviews with providers, index clients, and partners, five major themes emerged on intervention acceptability and feasibility: (1) value of PrEP and childbearing messaging in APN; (2) value of this messaging coming earlier in APN; (3) overall preference for gain-framed messages; (4) need to tailor timing of messaging; and (5) need for messaging outside of APN. Register data (109 index clients, 145 partners) indicated most index clients (95%) wanted their potential conception partners informed about PrEP. Preliminary trends suggest the intervention sites outperformed usual care in testing rates among potential conception partners. Messaging that highlights PrEP and safe childbearing may be a promising new communication strategy to promote HIV testing.
Journal of health communication
Hurley EA, Mayatsa J, Matovu JKB, et al. Piloting Gain and Loss-Framed PrEP and Childbearing Messaging to Promote HIV Testing in Uganda: Perspectives from Couples and Providers. J Health Commun. 2023;28(10):669-679. doi:10.1080/10810730.2023.2251919