Online Program

Women's attitudes towards male circumcision for HIV prevention in turkana, Kenya

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Marta Bornstein, MPH, LFA Group, San Francisco, CA
Katherine Andrinopoulos, PhD, Global Health Systems and Development, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA
BACKGROUND: In the past decade multiple epidemiological and clinical research studies have confirmed the relationship between male circumcision (MC) and HIV risk reduction. MC is now considered to be a pillar of HIV prevention, and rollouts of MC programs are proceeding in sub-Saharan Africa. However, it is postulated that groups who do not historically circumcise may resist adoption, thereby delaying or inhibiting the large-scale HIV incidence reduction that is possible with high levels of MC coverage. METHODS: Through in-depth interviews and focus groups with married women in the Turkana region of northern Kenya, this research explores the feasibility of introducing voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) programs in this region among a group that not only lacks traditional circumcision practices, but is often defined in Kenya by its lack of circumcision practice. RESULTS: By examining the attitudes and beliefs surrounding circumcision in Turkana among women, we gained insights into how VMMC programs can be successful in this region and others without a recent history of MC. In-depth interviews provided programmatically relevant information regarding the complex barriers and facilitators of MC adoption in Turkana. CONCLUSIONS: It is necessary to include the perspectives of women when rolling out VMMC programs in order to promote widespread MC coverage.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the importance of formative qualitative research when implementing culturally sensitive interventions globally. Discuss the challenges and opportunities for implementing VMMC programs in uncircumcised populations.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Women and HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I completed this analysis as an MPH student at Tulane University where I received training in qualitative analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.