Historically, men in sub-Saharan Africa have worse outcomes along the HIV care continuum than women. Brothers for Life (BFL) is a community-based behavior change intervention for men, adapted for Côte d'Ivoire, involving group discussions that address salient gender norms and promote HIV prevention, testing, and linkage to care with support from peer navigators. The goal of this study was to describe the BFL program as implemented in Côte d'Ivoire, evaluate program implementation, and report uptake of HIV testing and treatment among BFL participants.
Three urban and periurban sites in Côte d'Ivoire.
The implementation evaluation assessed the fidelity and acceptability of the BFL program and the reach of program completion, testing and peer navigation using qualitative and quantitative approaches.
BFL facilitation fidelity and content fidelity were high. Semistructured interviews with BFL participants indicated that men appreciated the format and content and that the BFL program helped some participants overcome their fears and adopt more positive attitudes and behaviors around testing and treatment. Assessments of reach showed that, of the 7187 BFL participants, 81% tested for HIV as part of BFL and 2.3% (135) tested HIV-positive. Of those, 76% (102) accepted peer navigator support, and 97% (131) initiated treatment. After 6 months, 100% of the 131 men who initiated treatment remained in care.
The implementation of BFL in Côte d'Ivoire successfully achieved the goals of engaging participants in discussions around HIV prevention, encouraging HIV testing, and achieving linkage to care, treatment initiation, and retention.