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Perks influencing men to undergo circumcision

22 July 2014, 16:20

Nairobi - A study has revealed that perks handed out to uncircumcised men were influencing more man to voluntarily go under the knife.

The study published by JAMA, the HIV testing and counseling centre, said that compensation in the form of food vouchers ranging between US$9 or $15, compared with lesser or no compensation, resulted in a modest increase in the prevalence of circumcision after 2 months.

Harsha Thirumurthy of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues studied 1 504 uncircumcised men (25 to 49 years of age) in Nyanza region, who were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 intervention groups or a control group.

Participants in the intervention groups received varying amounts of compensation conditional on voluntary medical male circumcision uptake at 1 of 9 study clinics within 2 months of enrollment.

Compensation took the form of food vouchers worth approximately $2.50; $8.75 or $15, which reflected a portion of transportation costs and lost wages associated with getting circumcised.

The control group received no compensation.

“There was also a significant increase in voluntary medical male circumcision uptake among married and older participants, groups that have been harder to reach previously. The interventions also significantly increased the likelihood of circumcision uptake among participants at higher risk of acquiring HIV. This latter result is especially promising from an HIV prevention standpoint,” the authors write.

According to health experts, circumcision significantly reduces males’ chances of contracting the virus.

 –CAJ News

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