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AIDS Care. 2013;25(6):702-9. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2013.772280. Epub 2013 Feb 25.

Reducing the risk of HIV infection during pregnancy among South African women: a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA.


Mpumalanga Province, South Africa has one of the highest HIV/AIDS diagnosis rates among pregnant women (~29.4%). This study sought to enhance male involvement in pregnancy to increase HIV disclosure, sexual communication, HIV knowledge and reduce unprotected sex. Participants attending Antenatal Clinics (ANC) completed HIV counseling and testing and were enrolled with male partners (n=239 couples, 478 individuals). Twelve ANCs were randomly assigned to provide a prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) intervention or the standard of care, health education sessions plus PMTCT. Participants were assessed at baseline and post-intervention (approximately 6-8 weeks post-baseline) on demographics, sexual behavior, HIV-related knowledge, and conflict resolution strategies. Experimental participants increased HIV knowledge, use of negotiation, and decreased intimate partner violence. Additionally, they were more likely to have increased condom use from baseline to post-intervention (OR=5.1, 95% CI=[2.0, 13.3]). Seroconversions in the control condition exceeded experimental (6 vs. 0). HIV serostatus disclosure to partner did not increase over time for men or women within the experimental or control condition. Male involvement in pregnancy may be an important strategy to reduce sexual risk behavior and HIV transmission. Results support the utility of group interventions to enhance communication and HIV knowledge among pregnant couples.

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