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Table 2 Summary table of barriers to male PMTCT involvement

From: Male involvement in prevention programs of mother to child transmission of HIV: a systematic review to identify barriers and facilitators

Societal/cultural barriers
Perception of antenatal care as a woman’s place [19, 23, 37, 4043, 45, 46].
Cultural norm that men should not participate in antenatal care as pregnancy is a woman’s affair [25, 37, 43, 46].
Societal ridicule of men accompanying their wives to ANC [19, 32, 46]
Women are not allowed to lead [41, 46].
Conflict between PMTCT recommendations and cultural norms such as breastfeeding [39].
Cultural patterns of communication [44]
Male individual factors
Reluctance to learn ones status [19, 32, 37, 39, 43, 46].
Lack of time for ANC/PMTCT [25, 37, 41, 43, 46].
Do not see the benefits of testing [41, 43].
Self-perception of being in good health [32, 46].
Avoidance of the burden of care [19, 46].
Lack of finances [19,46].
No one left at home to look after the children [44].
Information/knowledge barriers
Misconception that your partner’s HIV status is a proxy of your own status [37, 41, 44, 46].
Unawareness of the availability of antenatal VCT by men [19, 43, 46].
Men’s limited knowledge of PMTCT [19, 43].
Lack of community awareness on the importance of male PMTCT involvement [25].
Health system barriers
Long waiting times at the clinic [46, 47].
ANC services are not male-friendly [37, 43].
Distrust in confidentiality of the health system [19].
Female factors
Women not involving their partners due to numerous fears e.g. accusations of infidelity, divorce, stigmatization, domestic violence [16, 25, 35, 42]
Relationship Dynamics
Weaker relationships [15, 19].
Fidelity within the relationship [42, 46]
Relationship Dynamics
Weaker relationships [15, 19].
Fidelity within the relationship [42, 46]
Disagreement with PMTCT teachings
Disagreement with PMTCT encouragement of condom use within the couple [39].
Men perceiving prenatal HIV testing as a late event. They would have been offered the chance to test earlier [40].
  1. ANC= Antenatal care, PMTCT=Prevention of mother-to-child transmission, VCT=Voluntary counseling and testing, HIV=Human Immuno-deficiency Virus.