Perceptions and acceptability of male circumcision in South Africa

SOURCE: HIV Advance Research and Development
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2015
TITLE AUTHOR(S): G.Setswe, K.Peltzer, M.Majaja, G.Matseke, Y.Ntsepe
KEYWORDS: HIV/AIDS, MALE CIRCUMCISION, MEN, RISK BEHAVIOUR, SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Capabilities (HSC)
Intranet: HSRC Library: shelf number 8483

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the perceptions and acceptability of male circumcision among the young, as well as older men and women in South Africa. Methods: A total of eleven (11) focus group discussions were conducted in eight of the nine provinces of South Africa. Issues that were explored included (1) acceptability of male circumcision among different cultural groups, (2) perceptions about hospital versus traditional circumcision, (3) perceptions about safety of male circumcision, (4) perceptions about MC and protection against sexually transmitted infections including HIV, (5) misinformation about MC, (6) perceptions about MC and sexual pleasure, and (7) perceived barriers to male circumcision. Results: The study found that male circumcision was acceptable to both men and women in various cultures in South Africa. Although traditional male circumcision was the most preferred method, concerns were raised about the safety, and for this reason some preferred hospital over traditional circumcision. There were mixed attitudes regarding whether male circumcision is protective from HIV transmission. Some participants said that male circumcision increased sexual pleasure and decreased sexual inhibition. There is a need for sexual and reproductive health promotion interventions in the context of male circumcision. Male circumcision is acceptable to both men and women in various cultures in South Africa even though people have mixed perceptions regarding whether male circumcision is protective from HIV transmission.