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Acceptability of woman-delivered HIVST to the male partner: a qualitative study of ANC clinic-linked participants in Blantyre, Malawi

Choko et al.

Publication year


Type of approach

Type of assistance
Directly assisted


Study population
General population: Men and women

Study design

Sample size

UNAIDS HIV prevalence (2017)
9.1 [8.4 - 9.9]

This formative qualitative study aims to inform a trial where pregnant women provide HIVST kits to their male partners. The study explores acceptability of this intervention by conducting 5 focus group discussions (2 men only, 2 women only, 1 mixed). Thematic analysis was conducted to interpret the data.

Summary of findings
Providing HIVST kits to pregnant women to deliver to their male partners was highly acceptable to both women and men. Several men strongly preferred this approach to any alternative, as this allowed testing to fit into lifestyles that are characterised by extreme day-to-day economic pressures, including need to raise money each day for food. Both men and women disagreed that introducing woman-delivered HIVST would provoke intimate partner violence (IPV). Most men stated a preference to self-test alone, ideally followed by the opportunity to re-self-test as a couple. Regarding interventions for optimising linkage, both men and women felt that fixed financial incentives of ~ US$2 would increase linkage. However, there were concerns: potential negative consequences included a perceived undue reward for having multiple pregnant partners if financial incentives were too high. A lottery incentive was considered overly disappointing for those who receive nothing towards their evening meal in this extremely poor setting. Phone call reminders were preferred to short messaging service (SMS), given the frequency of 'junk' SMS in this setting.


Acceptability details
Providing HIVST kits to pregnant women to deliver to their male partners was highly acceptable to both women and men (n=n/a). Men expressed a strong preference for HIVST (n=n/a).

Willingness to pay

Willingness to pay details
Participants expressed interest in receiving a fixed financial incentive of ~ US$2 to improve linkages, though some concerns were mentioned with providing an incentive.




HIV positivity

Accuracy details

Social harm
Both men and women disagreed that introducing woman-delivered HIVST would provoke intimate partner violence (IPV), some saying that pregnant women would be 'culturally immune' from IPV.

Linkage to prevention, care and treatment

Study status

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