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Evaluating the feasibility and impact of couple-oriented prenatal HIV counselling and testing in low and medium HIV prevalence countries

Joanna Orne-Gliemann, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2
Patrice Tchendjou, Centre Pasteur du Cameroun
Marija Miric, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones en Salud Materno Infantil (CENISMI)
Mukta Gadgil, Prayas Health Group for HIV/AIDS
Maia Butsashvili, Maternal and Child Care Union, Neoclinic, Tbilisi
Fred Eboko, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)
Eddy Perez-Then, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones en Salud Materno Infantil (CENISMI)
Shrinivas Darak, Prayas Health Group for HIV/AIDS
Sanjeevani Kulkarni, Prayas Health Group for HIV/AIDS
George Kamkamidze, Maternal and Child Care Union, Neoclinic, Tbilisi
Annabel Desgrees-du-Lou, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)
François Dabis, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2

HIV counselling and testing is the entry point for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT). It also improves sexual and reproductive behaviours. Effective strategies for men’s involvement within PMTCT are lacking. The Prenahtest project is evaluating the feasibility and impact of prenatal couple-oriented HIV counselling on partner HIV counselling and testing, couple counselling and sexual, reproductive and HIV prevention behaviours, in Yaounde (Cameroon), Pune (India), Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and Tbilisi (Georgia). The first phase of the trial showed the feasibility of integrating the intervention of couple-oriented counselling (COC) within existing health services, and its acceptability among women, men, and the health staff. We observed a trend towards a positive impact of the COC session with partner HIV testing rates reaching 10-30% among women benefiting from COC (baseline partner HIV rates below 5%).The randomised trial will start early 2009.

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Presented in Session 27: HIV, anti-retroviral therapies and counselling: access, sustainability and behavioural issues