Roll-out of Medical Male circumcision (MMC) for HIV prevention in non-circumcising communities of Northern Uganda
Introduction: Recent studies have shown that circumcision reduces HIV/AIDS infection rates by 60% among heterosexual African men. Public health officials are arguing that circumcision of men should be a key weapon in the fight of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Experts estimate that more than 3 million lives could be saved in sub-Saharan Africa alone if the procedure becomes widely used. Some communities in Uganda have misconceptions to MMC and resist the practice.
Methods: To roll out MMC to a non-circumcising population of Northern Uganda from June 2011 as a strategy to increase access and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Results: Circumcision in a non-circumcising communities of Lango and Acholi sub-regions with a population of about 0.5 million mature males 15-49 years. Enrolment was voluntary, clinical officers, nurses carried out MMC after training in the surgical procedure. Mass sensitization and mobilization was conducted through radios, community leaderships and spouses. Cervical cancer screening was incorporated at circumcision sites and used as incentive for the women. Circumcisions were conducted at static sites, camps and outreach services where VCT and adverse events (AEs) were recorded and managed. All clients assented/or consented.
Conclusion: A total of 26, 150 males were circumcised in eight months. The AEs rate was 1.2 % and was mild. 2,650 women were screened for cervical cancer and positive test rate was 1.7%. Mobilization and sensitization were by radios and spouses' involvement in cervical cancer screening exercise.
Key words: Medical Male circumcision, Northern Uganda, scale-up of services, non-circumcising communities