Online Program

“he doesn't love me less, he loves me more”: Women living with HIV/AIDS perceptions of partner support in childbearing decision-making

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

Yewande A. Sofolahan, PhD, Department of Biobehavioral Health, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Collins O. Airhihenbuwa, PhD, MPH, Department of Biobehavioral Health, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
The purpose of the study is to understand the importance of male partner support in the childbearing (CB) decision-making process of women living with HIV/AIDS (WLHA) by exploring perceptions of WLHA after disclosure, during pregnancy (prepartum), and after childbirth (postpartum). Specifically, we assessed whether male partners were supportive, and how this support was shown to their female partners. We conducted in-depth interviews with 15 WLHA receiving clinical HIV care at a teaching hospital in Lagos. Interviews were conducted in two languages, and lasted for 40 minutes. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. Participants' age ranged from 28- 38 years, with an average of 4 years since HIV diagnosis. Using content analysis three major themes emerged: 1) Emotional support and reassurance; 2) Partnership and faith; and 3) Tangible support. The results revealed that all male partners were supportive, except in the case of the only unmarried mother, and it did not matter whether it was after disclosure or after childbirth, the level of support provided remained consistent. These findings have implications for HIV treatment and care programs geared towards improving the health of men, women and children. If UNAIDS vision of getting to zero, i.e. zero new infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero discrimination, is to become a reality by 2015, we cannot exclude men from the conversation. Policies must be made to include men in discussions on sexual and reproductive health, and maternal and child health.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the various ways women living with HIV/AIDS are supported by their partners in their childbearing decision-making?

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Partner Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted this study as part of my dissertation, and I was responsible for collecting and analyzing the data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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