Original Research - Special Collection: Gender Justice and Health and Human Development

Factors associated with male partner involvement in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus in the Gokwe North District, Zimbabwe: A qualitative study

Vimbai Chibango
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 3 | a6022 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i3.6022 | © 2020 Vimbai Chibango | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 April 2020 | Published: 24 November 2020

About the author(s)

Vimbai Chibango, Research Focus Area: Gender Justice, Health, and Human Development, Office of the DVC Research, Innovation, and Engagement, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Male partners’ involvement in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) intervention programmes is crucial in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. However, male partner involvement in PMTCT is low in most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, this study aimed at exploring the major factors associated with male partner involvement in PMTCT of HIV programmes in the Gokwe North District of Zimbabwe. The study utilised qualitative methods. Data was collected using a pretested interview guide. Purposive sampling methods were used to select participants of focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Interviews were conducted from May to September 2015. Thematic analysis was used for data analysis. The study revealed that local traditional leaders played a role in mobilising men in communities. Awareness campaigns enhanced communities’ knowledge about PMTCT. Couple communication proved to be vital in promoting male involvement. However, stigmatisation against men utilising antenatal-care services, fear of HIV results and a lack of knowledge of the practices surrounding PMTCT of HIV programmes were hindrances to male partner involvement. Collaboration and engagement amongst stakeholders especially with traditional leadership can be essential in increasing male partner participation in PMTCT. Education has proved to be a catalyst in the de-stigmatisation of men in PMTCT programmes. Moreover, HIV counselling can illuminate an understanding on the implications of HIV test results. The significant contribution of this article is its demonstration of the role of African traditional leadership and belief systems in curbing HIV infections, particularly in terms of male partners’ involvement in PMTCT initiatives.

Contribution: The significant contribution of this article is its demonstration of the role of African traditional leadership and belief systems in curbing HIV infections, particularly in terms of male partners’ involvement in PMTCT initiatives.


Keywords

PMTCT; HIV; Male partner involvement; Male partner; African traditional leadership

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