Male circumcision for HIV prevention in sub-Saharan Africa: who, what and when?
ABSTRACT Male circumcision (circumcision) reduces HIV incidence in men by 50-60%. The United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) recommends the provision of safe circumcision services in countries with high HIV and low circumcision prevalence, prioritizing 12-30 years old HIV-uninfected men. We explore how the population-level impact of circumcision varies by target age group, coverage, time-to-scale-up, level of risk compensation and circumcision of HIV infected men.
An individual-based model was fitted to the characteristics of a typical high-HIV-prevalence population in sub-Saharan Africa and three scenarios of individual-level impact corresponding to the central and the 95% confidence level estimates from the Kenyan circumcision trial. The simulated intervention increased the prevalence of circumcision from 25 to 75% over 5 years in targeted age groups. The impact and cost-effectiveness of the intervention were calculated over 2-50 years. Future costs and effects were discounted and compared with the present value of lifetime HIV treatment costs (US$ 4043).
Initially, targeting men older than the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS recommended age group may be the most cost-effective strategy, but targeting any adult age group will be cost-saving. Substantial risk compensation could negate impact, particularly if already circumcised men compensate. If circumcision prevalence in HIV uninfected men increases less because HIV-infected men are also circumcised, this will reduce impact in men but would have little effect on population-level impact in women.
Circumcision is a cost-saving intervention in a wide range of scenarios of HIV and initial circumcision prevalence but the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS/WHO recommended target age group should be widened to include older HIV-uninfected men and counselling should be targeted at both newly and already circumcised men to minimize risk compensation. To maximize infections-averted, circumcision must be scaled up rapidly while maintaining quality.
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ABSTRACT: Southern Africa continues to shoulder a disproportionate burden of the HIV epidemic with the number of new infections outstripping treatment initiation two- to threefold. Current prevention strategies have had a limited impact on the trajectory of the epidemic so far. The history of HIV prevention research is dominated by failed approaches, but recent developments have provided reason for hope. These include the successful male circumcision outcomes in trials in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda, the recent protective outcome of a tenofovir vaginal gel trial in South Africa and the proof that pre-exposure prophylaxis with oral combination tenofovir/emtricitabine can work in men. The latter positive outcome has however been shattered by the early closure of FEM-PrEP for futility. The challenge now is on how to best integrate emerging prevention methods with established strategies, recognising that some of the older methods have never been scaled up to saturation level.Tropical Medicine & International Health 06/2011; 16(9):1120-30. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-3156.2011.02807.x · 2.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND Circumcision is efficacious in reducing HIV acquisition in heterosexual males. The South Africa government has been reluctant to adopt a national circumcision programme, possibly due to concerns that circumcision may result in decreased condom use. OBJECTIVE To identify the determinants of demand for male circumcision, to examine variations by ethnicity, and to determine whether it is demanded to avoid condom use. METHODS 403 parents and 237 sons in Johannesburg, South Africa, were recruited through a randomized household survey, with oversampling to balance between blacks (n = 220), 'coloured' (mixed ethnicity) (n = 202) and whites (n = 218). The demand for male circumcision was estimated using a conjoint analysis, with each respondent randomly receiving four tasks comparing seven possible benefits-six identified through key informant interviews and one for condom avoidance. Respondents' choices were analysed using logistic regression, including stratified analyses to test for homogeneity. RESULTS Overall, circumcision's beneficial effects on HIV transmission (P < 0.001), sexually transmitted infection (STI) transmission (P < 0.001), hygiene (P < 0.05) and sex (P < 0.05) were identified as determinants of demand, but the condom avoidance hypothesis was rejected as it was 'repulsive' to respondents (P < 0.001). Consistent results were found for blacks (P < 0.001) and coloured (P < 0.001), but not for whites who found condom avoidance attractive (P < 0.04), a result not explained by variations in wealth, age or paternal circumcision status. CONCLUSIONS Male circumcision programmes should be tailored to accommodate variations in the determinants of demand across the target population. We find that circumcision's protective effect against HIV acquisition in men is the only determinant to be found consistently across all ethnic groups in Johannesburg. We also find that concerns over condom avoidance may have been overstated. This said, male circumcision strategies should reinforce a range of HIV prevention strategies, including condom use, as we find evidence that whites may view circumcision as a means to avoid condom use.Health Policy and Planning 10/2010; 26(4):298-306. DOI:10.1093/heapol/czq064 · 3.00 Impact Factor
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