African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines

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Prevalence and acceptability of male circumcision in South Africa

K Peltzer, D Onoya, E Makonko, L Simbayia


Background: The objectives of the current national study were to determine the rates of self-reported circumcision among South African men and, more importantly, evaluate the acceptability of male circumcision in South Africa by uncircumcised adult men and all adult women.
Materials and Methods: The study based on a population-based survey  included a nationally representative subgroup of 6654 men aged 15 years and older who where included in the analysis on male circumcision prevalence, and a subgroup of 6796 women aged 15 to 49 years who were included in the analysis on male circumcision acceptance.
Results: An overall prevalence of self-reported male circumcision of 42.8% was found. Among the Black African population group the prevalence of
male circumcision was 48.2%, 32.1% were traditionally and 13.4% were medically circumcised. Among males not circumcised 45.7% of 15-24 years
olds indicated that they would consider being circumcised compared to 28.3% among 25-49 years olds. In multivariate analysis among noncircumcised men Black African and Coloured population groups and having heard of the HIV protective effect of male circumcision were  significant predictors for male circumcision acceptability, and among women with a non-circumcised sexual partner, Black African and Coloured  population groups and higher education were predictors for male circumcision acceptability.
Conclusion: The study found high rates and high acceptability of male circumcision. Findings associated with the acceptability of male circumcision
can be used to increase awareness of the benefits of male circumcision for HIV prevention.

Key words: Male circumcision, prevalence, acceptability, national population-based survey, South Africa

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