[Impact of HIV counseling and testing during antenal consultation for HIV- women in Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire): a quantitative and qualitative study (Ditrame Plus 3 project, ANRS 1253)].

Abstract

This study takes place in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, inside a program of reduction of the mother-to-child HIV transmission, the Ditrame Plus study, ANRS 1201-1202. In this program, HIV test is proposed to women during antenatal consultations. After the test, we have followed during twelve months after childbirth 400 women who were HIV negative. We examine in this paper how these women who have been HIV tested during pregnancy and who are HIV seronegative communicate with their partner about HIV test and about the risk of HIV infection. We analyse also the behaviour of the partners in terms of HIV testing and condom use with their wife. Among the 400 women followed, for 6 upon 10, the HIV test allowed them to reinforced communication with their partner upon STD and AIDS. For 2 upon 10, the HIV test was the occasion to start a dialogue on this subject. On the whole, communication between spouses on these questions became more frequent after HIV test in all socio- demographic classes. They were more frequent when the husband was instructed and they were more easy in monogamous couples. Overall, the spouses discussed about the protection by condoms of the eventual extramarital sexual intercourse of the husband, in order to avoid the risk of infection of the HIV- wife. Ninety per cent of women asked their husband (or regular sexual partner) to use condoms if he would have sexual intercourse "outside". Women used different strategies to tackle this difficult subject of extramarital intercourse with their husband : they approached it as a simple discussion, or as a joke, or when they had a conjugal dispute. Ninety seven per cent of the followed women notified their partner they had been HIV tested. This notification was easy because they were seronegative. Then 94 % of these women told their partner he should be HIV tested also. But, despite this high figure, only a quarter of the partners asked an HIV test and were tested. Many of them were scared by a possible infection and didn't want to know their serostatus. The qualitative study showed also that many men thank that their serostatus was necessary the same than their wife's. They concluded they didn't need to be tested, since their wife was tested and was HIV(-). Instruction level of the husband was the major predictor of the men's probability of being HIV tested : this probability was four time higher among the more instructed partners than among the partners without instruction. Despite the low level of HIV-tested men, only a third of these couples used condoms at the resumption of sexual activity after childbirth. When the woman was instructed, condoms were more frequently used. Generally, women used the contraceptive role of the condom to convince their partner to use it. The ability of HIV negative women to adopt prevention practices in order to avoid a possible HIV infection from their husband (or regular partner) depended strongly on the quality of the conjugal relationship. This conjugal relationship was related to the sociodemographic characteristics of each partners. Behavioral changes were easier when both partners were instructed or when the woman was financially independent. They were more difficult in polygamous marriages or when women were muslims. But the analysis of marginal cases revealed that women with no instruction can also negotiate: this negotiation depends on the quality of the communication existing in the couple. In conclusion, HIV testing allowed some women to strengthen the dialogue pre-existing in their couple upon HIV questions, and it allowed other women to start such a dialogue. This dialogue was centred overall on the use of condoms in case of extramarital intercourse. A complete prevention of HIV transmission in the couple, with HIV testing of both conjugal partners, and use of condoms until this double testing is done, remains seldom. Hence, it seems that the couple should be better taken into account in the HIV counseling and testing programs.

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@article{Brou2005ImpactOH, title={[Impact of HIV counseling and testing during antenal consultation for HIV- women in Abidjan (C{\^o}te d'Ivoire): a quantitative and qualitative study (Ditrame Plus 3 project, ANRS 1253)].}, author={Hermann Brou and H{\'e}l{\`e}ne Agbo and Annabel Desgr{\'e}es du Lo{\^u}}, journal={Santé}, year={2005}, volume={15 2}, pages={81-91} }