Factors associated with male partner involvement in programs for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in rural South Africa
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Male partner involvement (MPI) can contribute to the success of programs aimed at preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. However, the definition and measures of MPI differ according to context. This study utilized secondary cross-sectional data to investigate the prevalence and determinants of MPI among 463 male partners of HIV-infected pregnant women in rural South Africa. Results indicated that 44.1% of male partners reported involvement in most or all specified male partner involvement activities (i.e., scores of 7 to 9). Descriptive, correlation and multiple linear-regression analyses were conducted. Positive predictors of MPI included relationship status, own HIV status, awareness of female partner's positive HIV status, female partner's desire to have more children, having family planning discussions with provider, condom use to prevent HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and partner reasoning skills. Negative predictors included partner verbal aggression. Overall, although MPI is low, the study underlines important information that could be used to develop interventions aimed at improving maternal and infant health in PMTCT programs in South Africa.