Married men’s perceptions of barriers for HIV-positive pregnant women accessing highly active antiretroviral therapy in rural Uganda
Putu Duff,1 Tom Rubaale,2 Walter Kipp1,2
1School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada; 2Community ARV Project, Fort Portal, Uganda
Background: The aim of this study was to describe the perceptions of married men about barriers to accessing and accepting highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) by pregnant/postnatal women positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and registered in Kabarole District’s Program for the Prevention of HIV from Mother to Child (PMTCT-Plus).
Materials and methods: Our study was a qualitative descriptive exploratory study using thematic analysis. Four focus group discussions were held with a convenience sample of 40 married men.
Results: Lack of disclosure of a positive HIV diagnosis to the partner and stigmatization of persons with HIV were two major obstacles for women in accessing HAART. In addition, men felt that their low knowledge of HAART and their low HIV testing rate also constituted important barriers to these women taking treatment. Men complained that they were not sufficiently involved in the reproductive care of women and that couples’ counseling could be a step towards addressing this problem.
Conclusion: Barriers to HAART experienced by pregnant/postnatal women need to be addressed in order to improve their uptake of treatment, increase their low treatment coverage, improve their survival, and at the same time dramatically reduce HIV transmission from mother to child.
Keywords: men, highly active antiretroviral therapy, pregnant women, Uganda
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