Men’s role in HIV/AIDS prevention for women: Exploring different views

David Pérez-Jiménez, Irma Serrano-García, Aracelis Escabí-Montalvo


Objective: Explore the role male partners should play in interventions that emerge from an empowerment perspective for the prevention of HIV/AIDS in women. Explore the social and cultural context, rationale and format for interventions if male partners are incorporated. Background: Heterosexual women have become the most at risk group for HIV infection. Most of the HIV/AIDS prevention efforts have excluded the participation of male partners. Interventions with women have not been as affective as desired since the negotiation of safer sex method, such as the male condom, is not under their control. Methods: Thirteen focus groups were conducted in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Mexico. Groups were conducted with HIV/AIDS prevention researchers, service providers, and heterosexual men and women who participated in HIV/AIDS prevention interventions. The taped conversations were transcribed and analyzed using content analysis according to a set of defined categories and subcategories. Results: The majority of participants agreed that men must be incorporated in HIV prevention efforts with women. Many conditioned this participation, while some expressed their opposition. Regarding the ways of participation many favored working with men and women separately at the beginning and integrating at the end. They recommended considering working at a group level. Conclusions: The HIV/AIDS epidemic has put in the forefront the need to consider non-traditional approaches to promote behavior change. A group-base intervention with couples may be an effective way to prevent the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

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