Socio-structural factors influencing the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in the democratic republic of the Congo: A systematic review


Introduction The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) had the second-highest mother-to-child HIV transmission rate in Sub-Saharan Africa at 29% in 2013, however the uptake of preventive services for mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) remains suboptimal. This systematic review explores socio-cultural and structural factors influencing PMTCT service uptake in the DRC. Methods We conducted a search of electronic databases. The PEN-3 model was used as a framework to synthesize factors influencing PMTCT service uptake into perceptions, enablers, and nurturers. Results Sixteen studies, 14 quantitative and two qualitative, were retained. Maternal, socio-economic, structural, and cultural factors were found to influence PMTCT service uptake in the DRC. Cost, accessibility, and quality of PMTCT services were key barriers to service uptake. Integration, male partner involvement, and evolving PMTCT policies improved PMTCT service delivery and uptake. This review also revealed several socio-cultural challenges in involving male partners in PMTCT programs. Discussion Findings highlight the need to address barriers and reinforce enablers of PMTCT uptake. Creating culturally appropriate, male-friendly, and family-oriented PMTCT programs will improve service uptake in the DRC


Whembolua GS, Muvuka B, Tshiswaka DI, Conserve DF




  • Determinants of Health
    • Social support
  • Population(s)
    • Women
    • Children or Youth (less than 18 years old)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Linkage/engagement in care
  • Prevention
    • Biomedical interventions
  • Testing
    • Testing


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