Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Women's role in male circumcision promotion in Rakai, Uganda

TitleWomen's role in male circumcision promotion in Rakai, Uganda
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsNakyanjo, N, Piccinini, D, Kisakye, A, Yeh, PT, Ddaaki, W, Kigozi, G, Gray, RH, Kennedy, CE
JournalAIDS Care
Date PublishedJul 16
ISBN Number0954-0121
Accession Number30010413
Keywordsmale circumcision, qualitative study, women's attitudes

Medical male circumcision (MMC) has expanded in sub-Saharan Africa, yet uptake remains sub-optimal. We sought to understand women's perceptions of and influence on MMC in Rakai, Uganda. We conducted in-depth interviews with 27 women in fishing and trading communities, including women married to circumcised and uncircumcised men, single women, and sex workers. Data analysis followed a team-based framework approach. All female participants preferred circumcised men because of perceived reduced HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) risk, improved penile hygiene, and increased sexual pleasure. Perceived negative aspects included abstinence during wound healing, potentially increased male sexual risk behaviors, fear of being blamed for HIV acquisition, and economic insecurity due to time off work. Participants felt women could persuade their partners to be circumcised, accompany them to the clinic, refuse sex with uncircumcised men, and participate in community MMC activities. Findings support women's important role in MMC acceptance.