Assessment of a couples HIV counseling and testing program for pregnant women and their partners in antenatal care (ANC) in 7 provinces, Thailand


BACKGROUND Couples HIV testing and counseling (CHTC) at antenatal care (ANC) settings allows pregnant women to learn the HIV status of themselves and their partners. Couples can make decisions together to prevent HIV transmission. In Thailand, men were tested at ANC settings only if their pregnant partners were HIV positive. A CHTC program based in ANC settings was developed and implemented at 16 pilot hospitals in 7 provinces during 2009-2010. METHODS Cross-sectional data were collected using standard data collection forms from all pregnant women and accompanying partners who presented at first ANC visit at 16 hospitals. CHTC data for women and partners were analyzed to determine service uptake and HIV test results among couples. In-depth interviews were conducted among hospital staff of participating hospitals during field supervision visits to assess feasibility and acceptability of CHTC services. RESULTS During October 2009-April 2010, 4,524 women initiating ANC were enrolled. Of these, 2,435 (54%) women came for ANC alone; 2,089 (46%) came with partners. Among men presenting with partners, 2,003 (96%) received couples counseling. Of these, 1,723 (86%) men and all pregnant women accepted HIV testing. Among 1,723 couples testing for HIV, 1,604 (93%) returned for test results. Of these, 1,567 (98%) were concordant negative, 6 (0.4%) were concordant positive and 17 (1%) were HIV discordant (7 male+/female- and 10 male-/female+). Nine of ten (90%) executive hospital staff reported high acceptability of CHTC services. CONCLUSIONS CHTC implemented in ANC settings helps identify more HIV-positive men whose partners were negative than previous practice, with high acceptability among hospital staff.

DOI: 10.1186/s12914-014-0039-2

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@inproceedings{Lolekha2014AssessmentOA, title={Assessment of a couples HIV counseling and testing program for pregnant women and their partners in antenatal care (ANC) in 7 provinces, Thailand}, author={Rangsima Lolekha and Nareeluck Kullerk and Mitchell I. Wolfe and Kanyarat Klumthanom and Thapanaporn Singhagowin and Sarika Pattanasin and Potjaman Sombat and Thananda Naiwatanakul and Chailai Leartvanangkul and Nipunporn Voramongkol}, booktitle={BMC international health and human rights}, year={2014} }