Boston Globe Examines Expansion of African Mother-to-Child HIV Prevention Programs To Include Fathers, Families
The Boston Globe on Monday examined how many mother-to-child HIV prevention programs in sub-Saharan Africa are "rapidly expanding" to include testing, treatment and counseling for entire families, including fathers. Although these programs focus on prolonging the lives of HIV-positive fathers, it is difficult to persuade many men in the region to get tested or treated for the disease, according to the Globe. At the University of Jos Teaching Hospital in Jos, Nigeria, John Idoko and his staff are giving HIV-positive women "love letters" that invite male partners to accompany the women during their next visit. Idoko said that although more men are responding, seeing larger numbers of men undergo testing will take time. For example, of the 103 women who tested HIV-positive at prenatal clinics in the Jos region during the first seven months of this year, only 19 were able to bring their male partners in for testing. Ric Marlink, scientific director for care and treatment for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, said some centers might find it necessary to establish separate programs for men, which would offer counseling and support groups (Donnelly, Boston Globe, 9/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.