Knowledge on voluntary medical male circumcision in a low uptake setting in northern Uganda.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Free VMMC services have been available in Uganda since 2010. However, uptake in Northern Uganda remains disproportionately low. We aimed to determine if this is due to men's insufficient knowledge on VMMC, and if women's knowledge on VMMC has any association with VMMC status of their male sexual partners. METHODS:In this cross sectional study, participants were asked their circumcision status (or that of their male sexual partner for female respondents) and presented with 14 questions on VMMC benefits, procedure, risk, and misconceptions. Chi square tests or fisher exact tests were used to compare circumcision prevalence among those who gave correct responses versus those who failed to and if p?
Project description:BACKGROUND:Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) is one of the strategies being promoted to prevent sexual heterosexual transmission of HIV. It has been adopted by 14 countries with high HIV prevalence and low circumcision rates. The 60.0% protective efficacy of VMMC has come with misconceptions in some societies in Malawi, hence VMMC clients may opt for risky sexual practices owing to its perceived protective effect. The study estimated proportion of circumcised men engaging in risky sexual behaviors post-VMMC, assessed knowledge on VMMC protective effect and identified socio-demographic factors associated with risky sexual practices. METHOD:A cross sectional study was conducted at two sites of Mzuzu city. Systematic random sampling was used to select 322 participants aged 18-49 who had undergone VMMC. The independent variables included age, location, occupation, religion, marital status and education. Outcome variables were non condom use, having multiple sexual partners and engaging in transactional sex. Data from questionnaires was analyzed using Pearson's chi square test and logistic regression. RESULTS:Out of 322 respondents, 84.8% (273) understood the partial protection offered by VMMC in HIV prevention. Ninety-six percent of the participants self-reported continued use of condoms post VMMC. Overall 23.7-38.3% participants self-reported engaging in risky sexual practices post VMMC, 23.7% (76) had more than one sexual partner; 29.2% (94) paid for sex while 39.9% (n?=?187) did not use a condom. Residing in high density areas was associated with non-condom use, (p?=?0.043). Being single (p?<?0.001), and residing in low density areas (p?=?0.004) was associated with engaging in transactional sex. CONCLUSION:Risky sexual practices are evident among participants that have undergone VMMC. Messages on safer sexual practices and limitations of VMMC need to be emphasized to clients, especially unmarried or single and those residing in low density areas.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) reduces the risk of HIV infection in heterosexual men and has long-term indirect protection for women, yet VMMC uptake in South Africa remains low (49.8%) in men (25-49 years). We explored the attitude and willingness of women to start conversations on VMMC with their sexual partners in a South African peri-urban setting to increase VMMC uptake. METHODS:Thirty women with median age of 30 years (inter-quartile range 26-33 years) were interviewed in a language of their choice. Key questions included: types of approach to use, gender roles, benefits and barriers to introducing the topic of VMMC, and perceptions of VMMC. Interviews were digitally-recorded, transcribed, and translated. Through a standard iterative process, a codebook was developed (QSR NVIVO 10 software) and inductive thematic analysis applied. RESULTS:Most women were willing talk to their sexual partners about circumcision, but indicated that the decision to circumcise remained that of their sexual partner. Women felt that they should encourage their partners, show more interest in circumcision, be patient, speak in a caring and respectful tone, choose a correct time when their partner was relaxed and talk in a private space about VMMC. Using magazine/newspaper articles, pamphlets or advertisements were identified as tools that could aid their discussion. Substantial barriers to initiating conversations on VMMC included accusations by partner on infidelity, fear of gender-based violence, cultural restrictions and hesitation to speak to a mature partner about circumcision. CONCLUSIONS:Women need to ensure that before talking to their partner about circumcision, the environment and approach that they use are conducive. Female social network forums could be used to educate women on conversation techniques, skills to use when talking to their partners and how to address communication challenges about circumcision. Involvement of women in VMMC awareness campaigns could encourage circumcision uptake among men.
Project description:Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) is an important HIV prevention strategy, particularly in regions with high HIV incidence and low rates of male circumcision. However, 88% of the Zambian male population remain uncircumcised, and of these 80% of men surveyed expressed little interest in undergoing VMMC.The Spear and Shield study (consisting of 4 weekly, 90-minute sexual risk reduction/VMMC promotion sessions) recruited and enrolled men (N = 800) who self-identified as at risk of HIV by seeking HIV testing and counseling at community health centers. Eligible men tested HIV-negative, were uncircumcised, and expressed no interest in VMMC. Participants were encouraged (but not required) to invite their female partners (N = 668) to participate in the program in a gender-concordant intervention matched to their partners'. Men completed assessments at baseline, post-intervention (about 2 months after baseline), and 6 and 12 months post-intervention; women completed assessments at baseline and post-intervention. For those men who underwent VMMC and for their partners, an additional assessment was conducted 3 months following the VMMC. The ancillary analysis in this article compared the pre- and post-VMMC responses of the 257 Zambian men who underwent circumcision during or following study participation, using growth curve analyses, as well as of the 159 female partners.Men were satisfied overall with the procedure (mean satisfaction score, 8.4 out of 10), and nearly all men (96%) and women (94%) stated they would recommend VMMC to others. Approximately half of the men reported an increase or no change in erections, orgasms, and time to achieve orgasms from pre-VMMC, while one-third indicated fewer erections and orgasms and decreased time to achieve orgasms post-VMMC. Nearly half (42%) of the men, and a greater proportion (63%) of the female partners, said their sexual pleasure increased while 22% of the men reported less sexual pleasure post-VMMC. Growth curve analysis of changes in sexual functioning and satisfaction over time revealed no changes in erectile functioning or intercourse satisfaction, but there were increases in orgasm functioning, overall sexual satisfaction, and sexual desire. The majority (61% to 70%) of men and women thought penile cleanliness and appearance had improved post-VMMC. Of the 69% of men who reported having sexual intercourse at least once between having the procedure and their 3-month post-VMMC assessment, the large majority (76%) waited at least 6 weeks before resuming sex. Sexual intercourse prior to the 6-week healing period was associated with adverse events and lower levels of post-VMMC sexual satisfaction.Both men and their partners can generally expect equal or improved sexual satisfaction and penile hygiene following VMMC. Future studies should consider innovative strategies to assist men in their efforts to abstain from sexual activities prior to complete healing.
Project description:BACKGROUND:WHO and UNAIDS prioritized 14 eastern and southern African countries with high HIV and low male circumcision prevalence for a voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) scale-up in 2007. Because circumcision provides only partial protection against HIV infection to men, the issue of possible risk compensation in response to VMMC campaigns is of particular concern. In this study, we looked at population-level survey data from the countries prioritized by WHO for a VMMC scale-up. We compared the difference in sexual risk behaviours (SRB) between circumcised and uncircumcised men before and after the WHO's official VMMC promotion. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Ten countries (Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe) participating in the WHO's VMMC scale-up had available data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). We used cumulative-link mixed models to investigate interactions between survey period and circumcision status in predicting SRB, in order to evaluate whether the difference between the behavior of the two groups changed before and after the scale-up, while controlling for socio-demographic and knowledge-related covariates. The main responses were condom use at last sex and number of non-cohabiting sexual partners, both in the last 12 months. RESULTS:There was little change in condom use by circumcised men relative to uncircumcised men from before the VMMC scale up to after the scale up. The relative odds ratio is 1.06 (95% CI, 0.95-1.18; interaction P = 0.310). Similarly, there was little change in the number of non-cohabiting partners in circumcised men (relative to uncircumcised men): the relative odds ratio of increasing the number of partners is 0.95 (95% CI, 0.86-1.05; interaction P = 0.319). Age, religion, education, job, marital status, media use and HIV knowledge also showed statistically significant association with the studied risk behaviours. We also found significant differences among countries, while controlling for covariates. CONCLUSIONS:Overall, we find no evidence of sexual risk compensation in response to VMMC campaigns in countries prioritized by WHO. Changes in relative partner behaviour and the relative odds of condom use were small (and of uncertain sign). In fact, our estimates, though not significant, both suggest slightly less risky behavior. We conclude that sexual risk compensation in response to VMMC campaigns has not been a serious problem to date, but urge continued attention to local context, and to promulgating accurate messages about circumcision within and beyond the VMMC context.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:The real-world association between male circumcision and HIV status has important implications for policy and intervention practice. For instance, women may assume that circumcised men are safer sex partners than non-circumcised men and adjust sexual partnering and behavior according to these beliefs. Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) is highly efficacious in preventing HIV acquisition in men and this biological efficacy should lead to a negative association between circumcision and HIV. However, behavioral factors such as differential selection into circumcision based on current HIV status or factors associated with future HIV status could reverse the association. Here, we examine how HIV prevalence differs by circumcision status in older adult men in a rural South African community, a non-experimental setting in a time of expanding VMMC access. METHODS:We analyzed data collected from a population-based sample of 2345 men aged 40 years and older in a rural community served by the Agincourt Health and socio-Demographic Surveillance System site in Mpumalanga province, South Africa. We describe circumcision prevalence and estimate the association between circumcision and laboratory-confirmed HIV status with log-binomial regression models. RESULTS:One quarter of older men reported circumcision, with slightly more initiation-based circumcisions (56%) than hospital-based circumcisions (44%). Overall, the evidence did not suggest differences in HIV prevalence between circumcised and uncircumcised men; however, those who reported hospital-based circumcision were more likely to test HIV-positive [PR (95% CI): 1.28 (1.03, 1.59)] while those who reported initiation-based circumcision were less likely to test HIV-positive [PR (95% CI): 0.68 (0.51, 0.90)]. Effects were attenuated, but not reversed after adjustment for key covariates. CONCLUSIONS:Medically circumcised older men in a rural South African community had higher HIV prevalence than uncircumcised men, suggesting that the effect of selection into circumcision may be stronger than the biological efficacy of circumcision in preventing HIV acquisition. The impression given from circumcision policy and dissemination of prior trial findings that those who are circumcised are safer sex partners may be incorrect in this age group and needs to be countered by interventions, such as educational campaigns.
Project description:As an HIV prevention strategy, the scale-up of voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) is underway in 14 countries in Africa. For prevention impact, these countries must perform millions of circumcisions in adolescent and adult men before 2015. Although acceptability of VMMC in the region is well documented and service delivery efforts have proven successful, countries remain behind in meeting circumcision targets. A better understanding of men's VMMC-seeking behaviors and experiences is needed to improve communication and interventions to accelerate uptake. To this end, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 40 clients waiting for surgical circumcision at clinics in Zambia. Based on Stages of Change behavioral theory, men were asked to recount how they learned about adult circumcision, why they decided it was right for them, what they feared most, how they overcame their fears, and the steps they took to make it to the clinic that day. Thematic analysis across all cases allowed us to identify key behavior change triggers while within-case analysis elucidated variants of one predominant behavior change pattern. Major stages included: awareness and critical belief adjustment, norming pressures and personalization of advantages, a period of fear management and finally VMMC-seeking. Qualitative comparative analysis of ever-married and never-married men revealed important similarities and differences between the two groups. Unprompted, 17 of the men described one to four failed prior attempts to become circumcised. Experienced more frequently by older men, failed VMMC attempts were often due to service-side barriers. Findings highlight intervention opportunities to increase VMMC uptake. Reaching uncircumcised men via close male friends and female sex partners and tailoring messages to stage-specific concerns and needs would help accelerate men's movement through the behavior change process. Expanding service access is also needed to meet current demand. Improving clinic efficiencies and introducing time-saving procedures and advance scheduling options should be considered.
Project description:Little is known regarding the impact of counseling delivered during voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) services on adolescents' human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) knowledge, VMMC knowledge, or post-VMMC preventive sexual intentions. This study assessed the effect of counseling on knowledge and intentions.Surveys were conducted with 1293 adolescent clients in 3 countries (South Africa, n = 299; Tanzania, n = 498; Zimbabwe, n = 496). Adolescents were assessed on HIV and VMMC knowledge-based items before receiving VMMC preprocedure counseling and at a follow-up survey approximately 10 days postprocedure. Sexually active adolescents were asked about their sexual intentions in the follow-up survey. Prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated by modified Poisson regression models with generalized estimating equations and robust variance estimators.Regarding post-VMMC HIV prevention knowledge, older adolescents were significantly more likely than younger adolescents to know that a male should use condoms (age 10-14 years, 41.1%; 15-19 years, 84.2%; aPR, 1.38 [95% CI, 1.19-1.60]), have fewer sex partners (age 10-14 years, 8.1%; age 15-19 years, 24.5%; aPR, 2.10 [95% CI, 1.30-3.39]), and be faithful to one partner (age 10-14 years, 5.7%; age 15-19 years, 23.2%; aPR, 2.79 [95% CI, 1.97-3.97]) to further protect himself from HIV. Older adolescents demonstrated greater improvement in knowledge in most categories, differences that were significant for questions regarding number of sex partners (aPR, 2.01 [95% CI, 1.18-3.44]) and faithfulness to one partner post-VMMC (aPR, 3.28 [95% CI, 2.22-4.86]). However, prevention knowledge levels overall and HIV risk reduction sexual intentions among sexually active adolescents were notably low, especially given that adolescents had been counseled only 7-10 days prior.Adolescent VMMC counseling needs to be improved to increase knowledge and postprocedure preventive sexual intentions.
Project description:Although male circumcision reduces the heterosexual HIV transmission risk, its effect may be attenuated if circumcised men increase sexual risk behaviours (SRB) due to perceived low risk. In Uganda information about the protective effects of circumcision has been publicly disseminated since 2007. If increased awareness of the protection increases SRB among circumcised men, it is likely that differences in prevalence of SRB among circumcised versus uncircumcised men will change over time. This study aimed at comparing SRBs and HIV sero-status of circumcised and uncircumcised men before and after the launch of the safe male circumcision programme.Data from the 2004 and 2011 Uganda AIDS Indicator Surveys (UAIS) were used. The analyses were based on generalized linear models, obtaining prevalence ratios (PR) as measures of association between circumcision status and multiple sexual partners, transactional sex, sex with non-marital partners, condom use at last non-marital sex, and HIV infection. In addition we conducted multivariate analyses adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, and the multivariate models for HIV status were also adjusted for SRB.Twenty six percent of men were circumcised in 2004 and 28% in 2011. Prevalence of SRB was higher among circumcised men in both surveys. In the unadjusted analysis, circumcision was associated with having multiple sexual partners and non-marital partners. Condom use was not associated with circumcision in 2004, but in 2011 circumcised men were less likely to report condom use with the last non-marital partner. The associations between the other sexual risk behaviours and circumcision status were stable across the two surveys." In both surveys, circumcised men were less likely to be HIV positive (Adj PR 0.55; CI: 0.41-0.73 in 2004 and Adj PR 0.64; CI: 0.49-0.83 in 2011).There was higher prevalence of SRBs among circumcised men in both surveys, but the only significant change from 2004 to 2011 was a lower prevalence of condom use among the circumcised. Nevertheless, HIV prevalence was lower among circumcised men. Targeted messages for circumcised men and their sexual partners to continue using condoms even after circumcision should be enhanced to avoid risk compensation.
Project description:Two cohort studies using data from randomized controlled trials in Africa offer the best evidence to date on the effects of voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) on male sexual function and satisfaction, suggesting no significant impairments in sexual function or satisfaction and some improvements in sexual function after male circumcision.To assess the effects of VMMC on sexual function and satisfaction in a large population-based cohort of men circumcised as adults and uncircumcised controls in Kenya.Sexual function and satisfaction of young (median age = 20 years) sexually active men (1,509 newly circumcised men and 1,524 age-matched uncircumcised controls after 5% loss to follow-up) were assessed at baseline and 6, 12, 18, and 24 months, with data collected in 2008 to 2012. Self-reported data on lack of sexual interest or pleasure, difficulty getting or maintaining erections, orgasm difficulties, premature ejaculation, pain during intercourse, and satisfaction with sexual intercourse were analyzed with mixed-effect models to detect differences between circumcised and uncircumcised men and changes over time.Changes over time in sexual interest, desire and pleasure, erectile and ejaculatory function, and pain during intercourse (dyspareunia) in circumcised and uncircumcised men; group differences in time trends; satisfaction with sexual performance; and enjoyment of sex before and after circumcision.Sexual dysfunctions decreased in the two study groups from 17% to 54% at baseline to 11% to 44% at 24 months (P < .001), except dyspareunia, which decreased only in circumcised men (P < .001). Sexual satisfaction outcomes increased in the two study groups from 34% to 82% at baseline to 66% to 93% at 24 months (P < .001), with greater improvements in circumcised men (P < .001). On average, 97% of circumcised men were satisfied with sexual intercourse and 92% rated sex as more enjoyable or no different after circumcision compared with before circumcision.Results are applicable to VMMC programs seeking to increase the acceptability of male circumcision as part of comprehensive HIV prevention.Large-scale population-based longitudinal data restricted to sexually active individuals and adjusted for differences in baseline levels of outcomes and potential confounders are used. The questionnaire used, although not a standardized survey instrument, includes all major domains of male sexual function and satisfaction used in the most common standardized tools.Results are consistent with large cohort studies of VMMC using data from randomized controlled trials and indicate that VMMC has no significant detrimental effect or might have beneficial effects on male sexual function and satisfaction for the great majority of men circumcised as adults. Nordstrom MPC, Westercamp N, Jaoko W, et al. Medical Male Circumcision Is Associated With Improvements in Pain During Intercourse and Sexual Satisfaction in Kenya. J Sex Med 2017;14:601-612.
Project description:The World Health Organization endorsed voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) in 2007 as an effective method to provide partial protection against heterosexual female-to-male transmission of HIV in regions with high rates of such transmission, and where uptake of VMMC is low. Qualitative research conducted in east and southern Africa has focused on assessing acceptability, barriers to uptake of VMMC and the likelihood of VMMC increasing men's adoption of risky sexual behaviours. Less researched, however, have been the perceptions of women and sexual minorities towards VMMC, even though they are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS transmission than are heterosexual men. The purpose of this paper is to identify core areas in which a gendered perspective in qualitative research might improve the understanding and framing of VMMC in east and southern Africa. Issues explored in this analysis are risk compensation, the post-circumcision appearance of the penis, inclusion of men who have sex with men as study respondents and the antagonistic relation between VMMC and female genital cutting. If biomedical and social science researchers explore these issues in future qualitative inquiry utilising a gendered perspective, a more thorough understanding of VMMC can be achieved, which could ultimately inform policy and implementation.