Audet CM, Blevins M, Chire YM, Aliyu MH, Vaz LM, Antonio E, Alvim F, Bechtel R, Wester CW, Vermund SH. Engagement of Men in Antenatal Care Services: Increased HIV Testing and Treatment Uptake in a Community Participatory Action Program in Mozambique. AIDS and behavior. 2016 Sep;20(20). 2090-100. PMID: 26906021 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC4995150 NIHMSID: NIHMS762906.
Uptake of HIV testing and antiretroviral therapy (ART) services during antenatal care (ANC) in rural Mozambique is disappointing. To nurture supportive male engagement in ANC services, we partnered with traditional birth attendants and trained a new type of male-to-male community health agent, "Male Champions", who focused on counseling male partners to create new, male-friendly community norms around engagement in spousal/partner pregnancies. We assessed ANC service uptake using a pre-post intervention design. The intervention was associated with increases in: (1) uptake of provider-initiated counseling and testing among pregnant woman (81 vs. 92 %; p < 0.001); (2) male engagement in ANC (5 vs. 34 %; p < 0.001); and (3) uptake of ART (8 vs. 19 %; p < 0.001). When men accepted HIV testing, rates of testing rose markedly among pregnant women. With the challenges in scale-up of Option B+ in sub-Saharan Africa, similar interventions may increase testing and treatment acceptability during pregnancy.