Privacy concerns linked to both health facilities and providers are major barriers to increasing the number of men who are tested and treated for HIV in Cote d’Ivoire, suggests new Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) research. CCP is based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The findings, published March 21 in the journal PLOS ONE, are based on interviews with 277 men who were either living with HIV or didn’t know their HIV status.
Men across sub-Saharan Africa are less likely to be tested for HIV or treated after being diagnosed. For example, in Cote d’Ivoire, 60 percent of women ages 15 and older who are living with HIV are on antiretroviral therapy (ART) as compared to 29 percent of their male counterparts, according to Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
Ms. Natalie Jean Tibbels, a monitoring officer with CCP, is the study’s lead author.
Men interviewed for the study reported both costs and benefits related to interactions with health providers. Costs included the fear of unwanted disclosure, actual or anticipated stigmatization and the belief that providers were not administering the HIV test properly. These downsides were offset by the perceived benefit of social support from the provider and clinical guidance on the treatment journey.Friday Letter Submission