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Table 3 Summary of findings

From: Echoes of old HIV paradigms: reassessing the problem of engaging men in HIV testing and treatment through women’s perspectives

Men’s reluctance to know and share their HIV diagnosis
• Women felt that men need more information about the benefits of HIV testing
• Men refused to receive HIV tests even when feeling unwell or partner was HIV-positive
• Men want to “test by proxy” and determine their HIV status based on their partner’s status
Pretending to be HIV negative
• If men do learn their HIV status, they often keep it a secret
• A few women reported that their partners hid their HIV status and secretly took ART
• The majority of women reported that even if their partner learned their HIV status they would still refuse ART
Lacking male spaces
• Participants claimed that men do not access the health facility because they view it as a ‘female space’ and are not comfortable accessing services there
• Participants recommended creating a separate space for men at the facility
• Some participants recommend having more male HCWs available to speak with the men
Men’s powerful influence on their partner’s ART adherence
• Men often discouraged or prevented their partners from initiating or adhering to ART
• Some men provided incorrect information about ART to their female partners
• Some women reported that their partners were supportive and helped remind them to take ART
Lingering beliefs about HIV and ART
• There were many lingering beliefs in the community about HIV being a death sentence and a lack of messages about the ability to live a long and healthy life on ART
• Previously ART was for those who had low CD4 counts and were very ill. The idea that ART is only for the very ill remains in the community
• Many people are not aware of the developments in ART and believe that ART is still a complicated multi-pill regimen
• Many fear the side effect of being disfigured, that was associated with drugs used in the older ART regimens