Low Acceptance of Intimate Partner Violence by Pregnant Women in Uganda Predicts Higher Uptake of HIV Self-testing Among their Male Partners

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African Journal of AIDS Research


Introduction: Heterosexual couples are at high risk for HIV acquisition in sub-Saharan Africa, and HIV self-testing (HST) is an additional approach to expand access to HIV testing services. However, it is not well known how gender equality is associated with HST. Methods: We used intervention-arm data from a cluster-randomised controlled HST intervention trial (N = 1 618) conducted in Uganda to determine the association between attitudes towards intimate partner violence (IPV), decision-making power and male partner’s uptake of HST among heterosexual couples expecting a child in south-central Uganda. The original study question was to assess the impact of providing pregnant women with HST kits to improve male partner’s HIV testing rates. For this analysis, the primary exposures were gender equality (measured by male partner’s and female partner’s attitudes towards IPV and the female partner’s household decision-making power), and the primary outcome was the male partner’s uptake of HST. Multivariate logistic regression was used for analysis. Results: We found that male partner HST uptake did not vary depending on male partner’s attitudes towards IPV or decision-making power; however, male partner HST uptake did depend on the female partner’s attitude towards IPV, with 1.76 times more testing (95% CI 1.06–2.92) in couples where the woman had “medium” versus “high” acceptance of IPV, and 1.82 times more testing (95% CI 1.08–3.08) in couples where the woman had “low” versus “high” acceptance of IPV. Conclusions: This study shows the importance of appropriate negative attitudes by women to IPV in increasing male partner’s HST uptake to integrate HST into national health care policies.

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Routledge; National Inquiry Services Centre (NISC); Taylor and Francis Group