XIX International AIDS Conference


Sign In
Back to the session

MOPDE0107 - Poster Discussion Session

We too are shareholders: why women must be meaningfully involved in the rollout of medical male circumcision in Africa

Presented by Kawango Agot (Kenya).

K. Agot, S. Ohaga, B. Ayieko, E. Omanga, M. Kabare

Impact Research & Development Organization, Kisumu, Kenya

Background: Evidence is mixed on the benefit of medical male circumcision (MMC) for women. Questions remain whether there is direct benefit in reducing HIV acquisition among women; whether men put women at risk due to early resumption of sex; whether mass rollout of MMC leads to risk compensation in ways that compromise women's ability to negotiate condom use; and whether MMC increases patriarchal behaviors such as gender-based violence. We present data from various studies to address these questions and make the case for women's shareholding position in MMC.
Methods: We reviewed over 30 published and ongoing studies on MMC for evidence on early resumption of sex, risk compensation, benefits of MMC to women, and women's views of and reactions to MMC rollout in different African countries.
Results: About 10 studies have returned the verdict of no risk compensation among circumcised men. In addition, there are few but scientifically solid evidence emerging showing up to 47% direct benefit of MMC in reducing HIV transmission to women, particularly when sex is not resumed early. However, four studies show consistent evidence of early resumption of sex before wound healing, ranging from 24-42% overall, 63-76% among married/cohabiting men, and 12-48% among HIV-positive men. About 15 studies indicate that women support MMC though misconceptions are still common, with up to 77% unaware of the need for sexual abstinence. Some believe that scale-up of MMC translates into reduced risk hence less need for safe sex.
Conclusions: With the current scale up of MMC for HIV prevention in 14 African countries, there is no evidence of risk compensation; however, early resumption of sex and women's low risk perception because their partners are circumcised may undermine the benefits of MMC to women. MMC programs should target women with correct and complete information and advocate for their involvement in partners' decisions on circumcision.

Download the e-Poster

Back to the Programme-at-a-Glance

Contact Us | Site map © 2012 International AIDS Society