Acceptability of male circumcision in Suba district, SouthWestern Kenya
Kabeo, Everlyne Nyamisa
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The idea of using male circumcision as a weapon against AIDS has been endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a disease prevention method among noncircumcising communities. However, its acceptability in these communities is not yet known. This study was, therefore, designed to investigate the acceptability of male circumcision as an HIV/AIDS prevention strategy in Suba District. The objectives of this study were: to examine the factors that would motivate the acceptability of male circumcision; to investigate the possible barriers to the adoption of the ritual; and to examine the readiness of acceptability between a traditionally circumcising community that abandoned the practice and a traditionally non-circumcising community. The study design was cross-sectional and data were collected using the survey method, key informant interviews and focus group discussions. Data obtained from the survey were analyzed using the SPSS computer software and the findings presented in tables of frequencies and percentages as well as pie-charts. On the other hand, qualitative data were analysed thematically. The data were organized and categorized on the basis of emerging themes which were then interpreted in relation to the research objectives. The findings suggest a high acceptability of male circumcision. The motivation for the practice is the HIV I AIDS threat because of its high prevalence and the lack of a cure for it, and the knowledge that male circumcision limits the chances of contracting HIV. The perceptions that male circumcision improves sexual pleasure, promotes hygiene, and the desire to revive Abasuba culture and to promote national unity, also encourage adoption. The findings indicate that culture, fear of penile injury and pain, ignorance, old age and wife discouragement are the main barriers. The Abasuba are much more likely to adopt the practice. On the basis of the study findings, it is concluded that the acceptability of male circumcision is high despite the suggested barriers. The findings confirm that culture change is inevitable to suit the dictates and circumstances of the time. It is therefore recommended that male circumcision services be provided as per the people's preferences in health facilities and mobile clinics should be established to ensure service accessibility. Awareness creation and education should target both men and women of Suba district to deal with cultural barriers, wife resistance and scant knowledge on the relationship between male circumcision and HIV infection.