Male partner willingness to participate in couple HIV counselling and testing for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV in Dodoma-Tanzania
Massae, Agnes F.
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Introduction: Mother to child transmission of HIV (MTCT) is a serious problem in both developing and developed countries regardless of the availability of PMTCT program. Couple HIV Counseling and Testing as a method of primary prevention has been shown to increase the uptake of PMTCT interventions by women. Nevertheless participation of the male in the antenatal clinics where CHCT for PMTCT program is available is low. Objective: To examine male partner willingness to participate in couple HIV counseling and testing for PMTCT during antenatal care visits Methodology: Descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in four streets in Dodoma-Tanzania. A total of 190 males aged ≥ 20 years with the sexual partner of reproductive age 15-49 years who had delivered within the last 24 months were interviewed. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 16.0 whereby univariate, bivariate and multivariate analysis was done. Results: Large proportions of the male partners were willing to participate in CHCT in ANC 172 (90.5%). However, significant proportions (61.1%) of the participants had never been tested for HIV during the ANC couple testing. Hierarchical multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that subjective norms (AOR=11.41; 95%CI, 2.07-62.83; p=0.005) and perceived barriers (AOR=3.81; 95%CI, 1.01-14.37; p=0.049) were significant factors for willingness toward using CHCT services. Socio-demographic variables, PMTCT knowledge, past CHCT and behavioral attitude were not statistically significant with male willingness to screen for HIV. Thus men were willing to test for HIV as a couple in ANC if they perceived more social support, but also if they anticipated less barriers from testing Conclusion: The study revealed that male willingness to participate in CHCT was based on subjective norms and perceived barriers. Efforts to focus on community based interventions rather than individual would change the current norms toward testing in order to strengthen willingness and final improve the HIV testing behavior as couples among men.