Factors influencing sexually transmissible infection disclosure to male partners by HIV-positive pregnant women in Pretoria townships, South Africa: A qualitative study

Joseph Daniels, Lindsey De Vos, Winta Mogos, Dawie Olivier, Simukai Shamu, Maanda Mudau, Jeffrey Klausner, Andrew Medina-Marino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Sexually transmissible infections (STI) may increase the risk of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV. However, diagnostic testing and targeted treatment of STI (STI-TT) during pregnancy is not standard care in South Africa. Methods: A qualitative study was nested in a STI-TT intervention to investigate motivating and enabling factors associated with STI test results disclosure to sexual partners. A semi-structured interview protocol covered partner communication, HIV and STI disclosure, financial security and relationships dynamics. Interviews were conducted in participants' preferred language, audio-recorded, transcribed into English and analysed using a constant comparison approach. The study was conducted in two townships in Pretoria, South Africa. Results: Twenty-eight HIV-positive pregnant women were interviewed. Based on the interviews, two disclosure experiences for women were identified-those with vulnerable experiences and those with self-enabling experiences within their partnerships. Vulnerable women discussed intimate partner violence (IPV) and fear of relationship dissolution as factors influencing their test result disclosure. Self-enabled women discussed their ability to talk with their partners about STI and HIV infections and the influence of multiple concurrent partnerships in the acquisition of HIV/STIs. Both groups of women were concerned about men's health behaviours, and all cited the health and development of their unborn child as a key motivator for test result disclosure. Conclusions: Improved counselling and support for pregnant women to disclose their STI test results to their partners may improve the impact of STI diagnostic testing during pregnancy by improving partner treatment uptake and thus reducing the risk of re-infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-281
Number of pages8
JournalSexual Health
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • HIV
  • STI disclosure
  • antenatal care
  • diagnostic screening of STIs
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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