Acceptability of male circumcision and predictors of circumcision preference among men and women in Nyanza Province, Kenya

AIDS Care. 2005 Feb;17(2):182-94. doi: 10.1080/09540120512331325671.


Numerous epidemiologic studies report significant associations between lack of male circumcision and HIV-1 infection, leading some to suggest that male circumcision be added to the limited armamentarium of HIV prevention strategies in areas where HIV prevalence is high and the mode of transmission is primarily heterosexual. This cross-sectional survey of 107 men and 110 women in Nyanza Province, Kenya, assesses the attitudes, beliefs, and predictors of circumcision preference among men and women in a traditionally non-circumcising region. Sixty per cent (n=64) of uncircumcised men and 69% (n=68) of women who had uncircumcised regular partners reported that they would prefer to be circumcised or their partners to be circumcised. Men's circumcision preference was associated with the belief that it is easier for uncircumcised men to get penile cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV/AIDS, and that circumcised men have more feeling in their penises, enjoy sex more, and confer more pleasure to their partners. Women with nine or more years of school were more likely to prefer circumcised partners. Men who preferred to remain uncircumcised were concerned about the pain and cost of the procedure, and pain was a significant deterrent for women to agree to circumcision for their sons. If clinical trials prove circumcision to be efficacious in reducing risk of HIV infection, it is likely that the procedure will be sought by a significant proportion of the population, especially if it is affordable and minimally painful.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Circumcision, Male / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Kenya
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Sex Factors