Collections > Master's Papers > Gillings School of Public Health > A Literature Review on Male Involvement in HIV Testing and Counseling among Pregnant Women in Sub-Saharan Africa

Male participation in maternal and child health may have a significant positive impact on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Malawi. However, there is little data available on the role of males in Malawi in prenatal healthcare and effects on PMTCT. This literature review describes studies conducted in other African settings and other regions of the world which have assessed men’s perception on participating in PMTCT, pregnant women’s willingness and acceptance of testing for HIV and disclosure of HIV status to the male partners. This review attempts to translate how male involvement in antenatal care may influence women’s decision to be tested for HIV through the perinatal period in Malawi. The review showed that supportive male participation, such as spousal approval or willingness to be tested for HIV with their partner, influence the acceptance of HIV testing among pregnant women. Male participation has the potential to increase the numbers of HIV testing during prenatal period, but one challenge is that male involvement in antenatal care remains very low in Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to this challenge, little research on male involvement has been conducted in Malawi. The review concluded with recommendations that may help increase male involvement in antenatal care. These recommendations include: disseminating information and written invitations to HIV testing and counseling; expanding community outreach; and promoting community mobilization.