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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