Option B+ is a comprehensive antiretroviral treatment (ART) designed for HIV-infected pregnant/postpartum women. However, barriers to implementing Option B+ and establishing long-term ART adherence while facilitating retention in prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV services remain. Community-based mentor mothers (cMMs) who can provide home-based support for PMTCT services may address some of the barriers to successful adoption and retention in Option B+. Thus, a team of researchers, including Ms. Anna Helova, doctoral candidate, and Dr. Janet Turan, from University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, evaluated the acceptability of using cMMs as home-based support for PMTCT services.
Gender-matched in-depth interviews were conducted between September-November 2014 for HIV-infected pregnant/postpartum women and their male partners living in southwestern Kenya. Audio-recordings were transcribed, translated, and then coded using a thematic analytical approach in which data were deductively and inductively coded with support from prior literature, and emerging themes from the transcripts utilizing Dedoose software.
Overall, the study results suggest high acceptability of cMMs among individual participants and health workers. Stigma reduction, improvement of utilization of health care services, as well as ART adherence were most frequently discussed potential benefits of cMMs. Participants pictured a cMM as someone acting as a role model and confidant, and who was over 30 years old.
The home-based cMM approach may be a beneficial and acceptable strategy for promoting ART adherence and retention within PMTCT services for pregnant/postpartum women living with HIV.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on August 30