Effectiveness of available information, education, and communication (IEC) materials for male involvement in reproductive health (PDF)
Poster presentation at 4th South African AIDS Conference: Scaling Up for Success,
Durban, 31 March
Mabasa,Sophy; Maluleke,Stubbs; Mullick,Saiqa; Teffo-Menziwa,Mantshi; Peacock,Dean
Publication date: 2009
Male involvement in sexual and reproductive health is the key to ensuring men's well-being as well as those of their partners and children and contributes to prevention of HIV and AIDS infection. The objective of the study was to obtain men's views regarding the available information, education, and communication materials that target men. These views would inform the adoption, adaptation, and development of new materials. Fifteen focus group discussions were conducted in three provinces with 118 men whose ages ranged from 18 to 74 years. The groups were made up of 51 percent unemployed including pensioners and church elders, 43 percent employed including professionals and self-employed, and 6 percent students. Men with disabilities also were represented. Most men were able to read and write in their own languages. Themes discussed included sexual reproductive health awareness and knowledge; men's perception of HIV risk; multiple concurrent partnerships; voluntary counseling and testing (VCT), prevention of mother to child transmission, antiretroviral treatment; men care and support; and condom use. The effectiveness of available materials was assessed by questions structured to address the men's current knowledge, practices, and beliefs, their source of information as well as types of communication that could encourage behavior change. The study found that there are limited materials and communication targeting men on sexual reproductive health. Although general information on HIV and AIDS is available, such as the importance of condom use and VCT, stereotypes and social practices restrict men from practicing responsible behavior thus putting them as well as their partners at risk of HIV infection. Messages targeted to men on sexual and reproductive health should take into consideration the level of education, language, location, and traditional and religious practices in order to be acceptable and contribute toward behavior change.