Pregnancy can be stressful and women need a lot of support but they don’t always get it from the people around them. This includes from their boyfriend or husband if they have one. It is hard to know what to tell male partners about being pregnant and some women in your support group may not have a male partner to support them.

As a Khuluma mentor you can help women find ways to talk to the fathers of their children if they want to, and also support them if they do not have anyone to talk to. Studies have shown that if a woman’s partner is involved in PMTCT, this has a positive effect on her health and that of her baby. It is also easier to discuss condom use during pregnancy if the couple have discussed HIV.

We know across South Africa that more women than men test for HIV. We also know that women are more likely to be HIV positive than men are. Younger women are particularly at risk. Men should also know their HIV status and women should be encouraged to talk to their male partners about HIV if they feel able.

Example SMS:

Does your boyfriend or husband come with you to the clinic? Why or why not?

Do you feel that you can talk to your boyfriend or husband about getting tested for HIV?  Tell us your experiences.

More women than men test for HIV in South Africa. Can you encourage the men in your life and help us change this?

Talking to your partner about HIV is difficult and can be very stressful. Choose a quiet time when you are both relaxed to discuss it.

Many women don’t have a boyfriend or husband to help them during pregnancy. Talk to friends, other family members and Khuluma participants instead.