Three randomised trials demonstrate that voluntary medical male circumcision (MMC) reduces male HIV acquisition by 50-60%, and post-trial surveillance has shown that the effects are long lasting. Scale-up of services has been initiated in 14 high-priority sub-Saharan African countries with high rates of HIV and low prevalence of MMC. However, circumcision coverage in the region remains low. Challenges to MMC rollout include suboptimal demand among higher-risk men, the need to expand access and reduce costs of MMC through personnel task shifting and task sharing, assuring and maintaining a high quality of service provision, and the testing and introduction of non-surgical devices. In addition, early infant male circumcision has not been adequately evaluated in Africa. Here, we describe challenges to implementation and discuss the ongoing and future role of implementation and programme science in addressing such challenges.
"The lower-than-desired uptake of VMMC among adult men is motivating the GoK and implementing partners to develop new strategies to increase the numbers of men seeking VMMC services. National and provincial VMMC task forces and implementing partners are piloting new approaches to recruit men over the age of 25 for services , , but while the need for programmes to target older men has been identified, evidence-based strategies to accomplish this have not been fully developed or tested . Additionally, input from key groups such as female partners, employers, and community and religious leaders, who may influence men’s perceptions of barriers to VMMC uptake and their ability to overcome these barriers, has not been widely gathered. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Uptake of VMMC among adult men has been lower than desired in Nyanza, Kenya. Previous research has identified several barriers to uptake but qualitative exploration of barriers is limited and evidence-informed interventions have not been fully developed. This study was conducted in 2012 to 1) increase understanding of barriers to VMMC and 2) to inform VMMC rollout through the identification of evidence-informed interventions among adult men at high risk of HIV in Nyanza Province, Kenya.
Methods: Focus groups (n=8) and interviews were conducted with circumcised (n=8) and uncircumcised men (n=14) from the two districts in Nyanza, Kenya. Additional interviews were conducted with female partners (n=20), health providers (n=12), community leaders (n=12) and employers (n=12). Interview and focus group guides included questions about individual, interpersonal and societal barriers to VMMC uptake and ways to overcome them. Inductive thematic coding and analysis were conducted through a standard iterative process.
Results: Two primary concerns with VMMC emerged 1) financial issues including missing work, losing income during the procedure and healing and family survival during the recovery period and 2) fear of pain during and after the procedure. Key interventions to address financial concerns included: a food or cash transfer, education on saving and employer-based benefits. Interventions to address concerns about pain included refining the content of demand creation and counseling messages about pain and improving the ways these messages are delivered.
Conclusions: Men need accurate and detailed information on what to expect during and after VMMC regarding both pain and time away from work. This information should be incorporated into demand creation activities for men considering circumcision. Media content should frankly and correctly address these concerns. Study findings support scale up and/or further improvement of these ongoing educational programs and specifically targeting the demand creation period.
PLoS ONE 12/2014; DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0098221 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Global trends in HIV incidence are estimated typically by serial prevalence surveys in selected sentinel populations or less often in representative population samples. Incidence estimates are often modeled because cohorts are costly to maintain and are rarely representative of larger populations. From global trends, we can see reason for cautious optimism. Downward trends in generalized epidemics in Africa, concentrated epidemics in persons who inject drugs (PWID), some female sex worker cohorts, and among older men who have sex with men (MSM) have been noted. However, younger MSM and those from minority populations, as with black MSM in the United States, show continued transmission at high rates. Among the many HIV prevention strategies, current efforts to expand testing, linkage to effective care, and adherence to antiretroviral therapy are known as "treatment as prevention" (TasP). A concept first forged for the prevention of mother to child transmission, TasP generates high hopes that persons treated early will derive considerable clinical benefits and that lower infectiousness will reduce transmission in communities. With the global successes of risk reduction for PWID, we have learned that reducing marginalization of the at-risk population, implementation of nonjudgmental and pragmatic sterile needle and syringe exchange programs, and offering of opiate substitution therapy to help persons eschew needle use altogether can work to reduce the HIV epidemic. Never has the urgency of stigma reduction and guarantees of human rights been more urgent; a public health approach to at-risk populations requires that to avail themselves of prevention services and they must feel welcomed.
Current HIV/AIDS Reports 04/2014; 11(2). DOI:10.1007/s11904-014-0208-x · 3.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SYMMACS, the Systematic Monitoring of the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Scale-up, tracked the implementation and adoption of six elements of surgical efficiency- use of multiple surgical beds, pre-bundled kits, task shifting, task sharing, forceps-guided surgical method, and electrocautery-as standards of surgical efficiency in Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
This multi-country study used two-staged sampling. The first stage sampled VMMC sites: 73 in 2011, 122 in 2012. The second stage involved sampling providers (358 in 2011, 591 in 2012) and VMMC procedures for observation (594 in 2011, 1034 in 2012). The number of VMMC sites increased significantly between 2011 and 2012; marked seasonal variation occurred in peak periods for VMMC. Countries adopted between three and five of the six elements; forceps-guided surgery was the only element adopted by all countries. Kenya and Tanzania routinely practiced task-shifting. South Africa and Zimbabwe used pre-bundled kits with disposable instruments and electrocautery. South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe routinely employed multiple surgical bays.
SYMMACS is the first study to provide data on the implementation of VMMC programs and adoption of elements of surgical efficiency. Findings have contributed to policy change on task-shifting in Zimbabwe, a review of the monitoring system for adverse events in South Africa, an increased use of commercially bundled VMMC kits in Tanzania, and policy dialogue on improving VMMC service delivery in Kenya. This article serves as an overview for five other articles following this supplement.
PLoS ONE 05/2014; 9(5):e82518. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0082518 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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