Male partner involvement in the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV infection in Mwanza Region, Tanzania

Pan Africa Medical Journal

Pan Afr Med J. 2017 Jun 6;27:90. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2017.27.90.8901.

INTRODUCTION: Globally, there are 3.3 million children < 15 years of age living with HIV infection. About 95% of HIV infected children have acquired infection from their mothers. Although new pediatric HIV infection in Tanzania has declined by 48% and Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) coverage of highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) has increased to 77%, the MTCT rate remains high (15%). Poor male partner involvement in PMTCT services is one of the factors contributing to reduced effectiveness of the PMTCT and hence failure to achieve the elimination of maternal to child transmission of HIV. This study examined the predictors of male involvement in PMTCT services in Mwanza Region, Tanzania from perspectives of the mother. METHODS: A cross sectional study involving selected health facilities was conducted in Mwanza urban from October 2013 through January 2014. HIV positive pregnant women attending ante-natal clinic (ANC) were interviewed using a semi structured questionnaire. Univariate analysis was used to describe the study respondents where bivariate and logistic regression was used to determine predictors of male involvement. RESULTS: A total of 300 HIV positive mothers attending ANC with the mean age of 27.5 + 5.6 were interviewed. Few mothers (24.7%) had their male partners involved in PMTCT. Predictors of male partner involvement in PMTCT were mothers being proactive (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) 28.6; Confidence Interval (CI) 7-116), perceived partners knowledge on PMTCT (AOR 24.6, CI 5.9-102.8), exposure to TV/Radio announcements on PMTCT (AOR 4.6, CI 1.5-14) and married status of the mother (AOR 3.7, CI 1.5-9). Mothers who never wanted to be escorted by their male partners and busy partners were associated with reduced odds of male involvement into PMTCT (AOR 0.07, CI 0.007-0.68) and (AOR 0.46 CI 0.21-0.99) respectively. Male partner involvement was associated with 98% reduced odds of violence (Crude Odds Ratio 0.018 CI 0.002-0.14). CONCLUSION: Male partner involvement in PMTCT is still low in Mwanza Region. Proactive mothers, partner's knowledge on PMTCT and announcements from television/radio were the major facilitating factors for male involvement in PMTCT as perceived by mothers. Busy male partners and mothers who did not want to be escorted by their partners were a hindrance to male involvement in PMTCT services. These factors highlight the importance of women role in promotion of PMTCT male involvement.
June 2017
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