Beneficial Effects of Offering Prenatal HIV Counselling and Testing on Developing a HIV Preventive Attitude among Couples. Abidjan, 2002–2005
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Prenatal HIV counselling and testing is mainly an entry-point to the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, but it may also play an important role in triggering the development of spousal communication about HIV and sexual risks and thus the adoption of a preventive attitude. In Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, we investigated couple communication on STIs and HIV, male partner HIV-testing and condom use at sex resumption after delivery among three groups of pregnant women who were offered prenatal counselling and HIV testing: HIV-infected women, uninfected women, and women who refused HIV-testing. The proportion of women who discussed STIs with their regular partner greatly increased after prenatal HIV counselling and testing in all three groups, irrespective of the women’s serostatus and even in the case of test refusal. Spousal communication was related to more frequent male partner HIV-testing and condom use. Prenatal HIV counselling and testing proposal appears to be an efficient tool to sensitize women and their partner to safer sexual practices.
KeywordsPrenatal HIV counselling and testing Couple HIV/STIs Africa Prevention
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