Men’s perspectives on antiretrovirals in preventing perinatal HIV transmission in Suba I East, Migori District
Mother to child transmission of HfV/AIDS accounts to almost 90% percent of HI\! infections in children. Scientific research has shown that this mode of HIV transmission can be reduced through use of antiretroviral drugs among other interventions. These interventions are currently provided through PMCT programs most of which attract women as their clients since they are the ones who are involved in the actual delivery of the babies. Some programs realized that the uptake of this service was low and some studies established that the women feared the reaction of their partners especially as regards results disclosure. HIV positive status was feared could lead to the women being blamed of having brought the disease. A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in November 2004 to determine the perceptions and knowledge of men on antiretrovirajs in preventing mother to chi Id transmission of 1-IlV. The study also aimed at determining the acceptance of men on use of antiretroviral drugs by HIV infected women and their newborn infants in preventing perinatal HIV transmission. Both qualitative and quantitative data was collected. Multistage sampling procedure was employed to select the sampling units. The findings of the study showed that slightly half (55.3%) of the respondents had adequate knowledge on PMCT., After controlling for possible confounders only education remained a strong predictor of possessing adequate or inadequate knowledge on PMCT of HIVIA IDS (OR=1.721, 95% CI: 1.359-2.180. p= 0.000). Whereas Majority of the respondents (75%) had good PMCT perceptions, less than half (48%) of all the respondents had good PMTCT practices. Protestants were more likely to have good perceptions on prevention of MTCT of HJV/AIDS compared to catholics (OR= 1.81, 95% CI: 1.0 1-3.22, ps=0.03). However. when logistic regression was done to determine the effect of each variable independent of the other regarding perceptions on PMCT of HIVI/\lOS components, no socio demographic factor was found to be significantly related to having good perceptions on PMCT. Only level of education (OR=1.359, 95% CI: 1.086- 1.70 I, p=0.007) and type of occupation (OR=0.826. 95% CI: 0.708-0.963, p=O.OlS) were found to be significantly related to good PMCT practices after controlling for confounding factors. Majority of the respondents in the study (90%) stated that they would recommend women to take nevirapine prophylaxis for the purpose of PMCT. In conclusion, there is still knowledge gap among men on issues of PMCT. There is however positive attitude towards the interventions only that knowledge and good perceptions have not been translated into expected good PMCT practices. In the recommendations, the government should try to change the image of Maternal Child Health (MCI-l) clinics to make them more male friendly. This may include orientation and sensitization of health workers to appreciate male as equal partners with women in seeking family related health services like PMTCT. Current information on PMCT of HIV/AIDS needs to be disseminated to all members of the community not forgetting men. Further studies are required to continuously monitor and evaluate the PMCT services and determine the level of involvement of men and how this has impacted on uptake of the services. This is in view of the fact that ever since the study period, PMTCT services in the district have been rolled out to more sites. A similar study needs to be carried out in a different geographical and socio-cultural set up to identify other factors that could affect men's perceptions on PMCT of HIV/AIDS.