Background Although men are key players in reproductive health services, their health seeking behaviours are poor. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are associated with increased spontaneous abortions, Human Immunodeficiency virus infection and infertility in pregnant women but men hardly utilise STI services when their partners seek antenatal care (ANC). In 2009/2010, men constituted 20% of patients who received treatment for STIs in Jinja district. Only 3.9% of ANC attendees in Jinja hospital went with their male partners and utilised STI services between February and August 2011.
Objective To determine factors associated with utilisation of STI services by male partners of ANC attendees in Jinja district, Uganda.
Methods A Case control study was conducted in 2012 on a consecutive sample of; 151 cases (Male partners of ANC attendees who utilised STI services at the health facility with their pregnant partners) and 151 controls (Male partners of ANC attendees who did not utilise STI services at the health facility with their pregnant partners) from 13 health facilities. Quantitative data was collected using semi-structured standardised questionnaires, entered in EPI INFO and analysed in stata/SE 10.0 using odds ratios from logistic regression models to assess associations. Qualitative data was collected by in-depth interviews and analysed using manifest content analysis.
Results Cases had higher odds of; prior STI testing (AOR 4.03, CI 2.22, 7.32), receipt of STI information (AOR 4.94, CI 2.50, 9.75) and being satisfied with the level of confidentiality at the health facilities (AOR 4.51, CI 2.16, 9.42). Fear of STI tests, lack of trust for their female pregnant partners, inadequate staff and busy schedules bar men from utilising STI services.
Conclusion Knowledge about STIs through prior STIs testing or Information Education and Communication materials as well as patients’ satisfaction with health providers’ handling of confidential information are important determinants of STI service utilisation.
- Ante natal care attendees
- sexually transmitted infection services