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Table 1 Key study findings

From: Lessons learned from the PMTCT program in Swaziland: challenges with accepting lifelong ART for pregnant and lactating women – a qualitative study

Challenges accepting lifelong ART
 Challenge accepting ART when feeling “healthy” • Women struggled with to accept ART when they felt healthy because ART is associated with being very ill or having a low CD4 count.
 Preference for short-course prophylaxis • Women preferred the short-course prophylaxis so that they could avoid disclosure and tell their partner or family that the drugs were related to the pregnancy
 Overwhelmed by lifetime commitment • Most women were familiar with the concept of developing resistance, which caused some to delay initiation until they felt “ready” to commit for life
More information needed on ART
 Fear of side effects • The fear of side effects was often related to deformities and changing physical appearance. Nurses believed this was associated with a drug no longer in use (Stavudine)
 Number of clinic appointments • Nurses reported considerable variation in the number of adherence counseling appointments a woman needed and advocated for the nurse's discretion to determine the number of adherence counseling sessions on an individual basis
 More information needed at the community level • Nurses reported being too busy at the facility to provide education sessions in the community (which had previously been provided)
 Educating men about HIV and ART • Women reported their partners lacking information about HIV and ART and becoming abusive at the mention of either topic