Male Circumcision

A total of 10,976 men were eligible for the pre-cohort survey; 7,129 (65%) eligible men agreed to participate in the study. The mean age was 29.2 years (SE = 0.09). Seventy nine percent reported ever having had sex, and the mean age of sexual debut was 19.4 years (SE = 0.05). Ninety seven percent (97%) of surveyed men provided a self-report of circumcision status. Among them, 89% also reported a date of circumcision.

Overall, 16% of men were circumcised, according to self-report with the aid of an illustration. The mean age at time of circumcision was 20.7 years (SE=0.3). More circumcised men reported having an education higher than secondary school (25% vs. 14%). Thirty-six percent of uncircumcised men reported being unemployed compared to 24% of circumcised men.

Over two-thirds (69%) were circumcised after sexual debut. A substantial proportion (67%) reported being circumcised after the 2007 WHO recommendation for male circumcision as HIV prevention. In fact, 11% were circumcised in the six months prior to completing the pre-cohort survey at T1.

Table 1: Condom Use by Circumcision status in the past 6 months

Always Used Didn’t Always p-value
Uncircumcised 31.3% 63.8% p=0.06
Circumcised* 35.6% 61.2% 61.2%
Circumcised Pre-March 2007* 31.0% 66.1% p=0.03
Circumcised Post-March 2007* 39.6% 57.3% 57.3%
Circumcised Before Sexual Debut* 32.6% 64.7% p=0.22
Circumcised After Sexual Debut* 38.2% 59.9% 59.9%

*Does not include men circumcised < 6 months prior to time of survey

With marginal significance (p=.06), consistent condom use among circumcised men was higher (36%) than uncircumcised males (31%) [Table 1]. However, among circumcised men only, consistent condom use significantly increased after the 2007 WHO recommendation on MC for HIV prevention. Forty percent (40%) reported consistency after this recommendation compared to 31% prior to this period (p=.03). Consistent condom use did not differ between circumcised men by time of sexual debut (p=.22).

More circumcised men report prior HIV testing than uncircumcised men (78% vs. 52%, p<0.001). In total, 93 circumcised, HIV-positive men were aware of their HIV status prior to the pre-cohort survey. Among them, 61% (n=57) reported being circumcised after knowing they were HIV-positive.

Almost all circumcised men believe that circumcision confers health benefits (94%) and protects against HIV infection (85%); of note, over three-quarters (76%) of uncircumcised men also hold these beliefs. Overall, HIV prevalence was significantly higher in uncircumcised men (25%) than in circumcised men (16.4%) (p<.001) [Table 2]. Statistically significant differences in HIV prevalence by circumcision status were apparent across all age groups [Table 2].

Table 2: HIV prevalence by circumcision status

Participant Age

Overall/All Ages 18-24 25-34 35-49
Uncircumcised 1693/6769 (25.0%) 128/2507(5.1%) 692/2361(29.3%) 873/1901(45.9%)
Circumcised* 214/1304(16.4%) 11.3/501.6 (2.3%) 92.3/502.0 (18.4%) 110/300.8 (36.6%)
p-value p<0.001 p=0.011 p<0.001 p=0.012

HIV Prevalence (%) Among men, by Circumcision Status and Age Group

HIV Prevalence Among Men