Effect of Text Messaging to Deter Early Resumption of Sexual Activity after Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
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BACKGROUND:: Resumption of sex before complete wound healing after male circumcision may increase risk of post-operative surgical complications, and HIV acquisition and transmission. We aimed to determine the effect of text messaging to deter resumption of sex before 42 days post-circumcision. METHODS:: We conducted a randomized trial where men >18 years old who owned mobile phones and had just undergone circumcision were randomized to receive a series of text messages (n=600) or usual care (n=600). The primary outcome was self-reported resumption of sex before 42 days. RESULTS:: Sex before 42 days was reported by 139/491 (28.3%) men in the intervention group and 124/493 (25.2%) in the control group (relative risk=1.13, 95% CI 0.91-1.38, p=0.3). Men were more likely to resume early if they were married or had a live-in sexual partner (adjusted relative risk [aRR] 1.57, 95% CI 1.18-2.08, p<0.01); in the month before circumcision had one (aRR 1.50, 95% CI 1.07-2.12, p=0.02) or >1 (aRR 1.81, 95% CI 1.24-2.66, p<0.01) sexual partner(s); had primary school or lower education (aRR 1.62, 95% CI 1.33-1.97, p< 0.001); were employed (aRR 1.35, 95% CI 1.05-1.72, p=0.02); or were 21-30 years old (aRR 1.58, 95% CI 1.01-2.47, p=0.05); 31-40 (aRR 1.91, 95% CI 1.18-3.09, p<0.01) or >40 years old (aRR 1.76, 95% CI 1.04-2.97, p=0.03) compared to <21 years old. CONCLUSIONS:: Text messaging as used in this trial did not reduce early resumption of sex after circumcision. We identified key risk factors for early resumption that need to be considered in circumcision programs