Objective: Couple-oriented posttest HIV counselling (COC) provides pregnant women with tools and strategies to invite her partner to HIV counselling and testing. We conducted a randomized trial of the efficacy of COC on partner HIV testing in low/medium HIV prevalence settings (Cameroon, Dominican Republic, Georgia, India).
Methods: Pregnant women were randomized to receive standard posttest HIV counselling or COC and followed until 6 months postpartum. Partner HIV testing events were notified by site laboratories, self-reported by women or both combined. Impact of COC on partner HIV testing was measured in intention-to-treat analysis. Socio-behavioural factors associated with partner HIV testing were evaluated using multivariable logistic regression.
Results: Among 1943 pregnant women enrolled, partner HIV testing rates (combined indicator) were 24.7% among women from COC group versus 14.3% in standard posttest HIV counselling group in Cameroon [odds ratio (OR) = 2.0 95% CI (1.2-3.1)], 23.1 versus 20.3% in Dominican Republic [OR = 1.2 (0.8-1.8)], 26.8 versus 1.2% in Georgia [OR = 29.6 (9.1-95.6)] and 35.4 versus 26.6% in India [OR = 1.5 (1.0-2.2)]. Women having received COC did not report more conjugal violence or union break-ups than in the standard posttest HIV counselling group. The main factors associated with partner HIV testing were a history of HIV testing among men in Cameroon, Dominican Republic and Georgia and the existence of couple communication around HIV testing in Georgia and India.
Conclusion: A simple prenatal intervention taking into account the couple relationship increases the uptake of HIV testing among men in different socio-cultural settings. COC could contribute to the efforts towards eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01494961.