In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), male partners are rarely present during prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services. This systematic review aims to synthesize, from a male perspective, male partners’ perceived roles, barriers and enablers of their involvement in PMTCT, and highlights persisting gaps. We carried out a systematic search of papers published between 2002 and 2013 in English on Google Scholar and PubMed using the following terms: men, male partners, husbands, couples, involvement, participation, Antenatal Care (ANC), PMTCT, SSA countries, HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing and disclosure. A total of 28 qualitative and quantitative original studies from 10 SSA countries were included. Men’s perceived role was addressed in 28% (8/28) of the studies. Their role to provide money for ANC/PMTCT fees was stated in 62.5% (5/8) of the studies. For other men, the financial responsibilities seemed to be used as an excuse for not participating. Barriers were cited in 85.7% (24/28) of the studies and included socioeconomic factors, gender role, cultural beliefs, male unfriendly ANC/PMTCT services and providers’ abusive attitudes toward men. About 64% (18/28) of the studies reported enablers such as: older age, higher education, being employed, trustful monogamous marriages and providers’ politeness. In conclusion, comprehensive PMTCT policies that are socially and culturally sensitive to both women and men need to be developed.
- Men’s role
- Sub-Saharan Africa