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Male Involvement in the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV

Publication year: 
Corporate author: 
World Health Organisation and Joint United Programme on HIV/AIDS
Publication details: 

In 2009, 370 000 children became infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) globally.Nearly all of these children acquired HIV through mother-to-child transmission. Ninety per cent ofthem live in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) and Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) guidance calls for a global response that is centred on,and responsive to, the realities of women’s lives. Because there is ample evidence documenting theimpact of men on the various components of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT)programmes, male involvement has been recognized as a priority area of intervention within thiswoman-centred approach. An extensive review of the public health literature was conducted to assess the current level and nature of male involvement and to identify opportunities for the advancement of constructive male engagement in PMTCT. The geographic focus of this paper is on sub-Saharan Africa. This paper highlights the documented benefits of men’s engagement in PMTCT of HIV, barriers to men’s engagement, and promising strategies to involve men, as well as conceptual and methodological issues that merit further consideration and research. The paperreveals that despite overwhelmingly positive attitudes towards PMTCT programming among men,their engagement remains very low. Barriers to men’s participation include fear of knowing one’status, stigma and discrimination.

ISBN No.: 
978 92 4 150367 9