Messaging Circumstances and Economic Pressures as Influences on Linkage to Medical Male Circumcision following Community-Based HIV Testing for Men in Rural Southwest Uganda: A Qualitative Study


Voluntary medical male circumcision (MMC) reduces risk of HIV infection, but uptake remains suboptimal among certain age groups and locations in sub-Saharan Africa. We analysed qualitative data as part of the Linkages Study, a randomized controlled trial to evaluate community-based HIV testing and follow-up as interventions promoting linkage to HIV treatment and prevention in Uganda and South Africa. Fifty-two HIV-negative uncircumcised men participated in the qualitative study. They participated in semistructured individual interviews exploring (a) home HTC experience; (b) responses to test results; (c) efforts to access circumcision services; (d) outcomes of efforts; (e) experiences of follow-up support; and (f) local HIV education and support. Interviews were audio-recorded, translated, transcribed, and summarized into “linkage summaries.” Summaries were analysed inductively to identify the following three thematic experiences shaping men’s circumcision choices: (1) intense relief upon receipt of an unanticipated seronegative diagnosis, (2) the role of peer support in overcoming fear, and (3) anticipation of missed economic productivity. Increased attention to the timing of demand creation activities, to who delivers information about the HIV prevention benefits of MMC, and to the importance of missed income during recovery as a barrier to uptake promises to strengthen and sharpen future MMC demand creation strategies

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This paper was published in Directory of Open Access Journals.

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