Acceptability of male circumcision for prevention of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa: a review

AIDS Behav. 2007 May;11(3):341-55. doi: 10.1007/s10461-006-9169-4. Epub 2006 Oct 20.


Based on epidemiological, clinical and experimental evidence, male circumcision (MC) could have a significant impact on the HIV epidemic in selected areas. We reviewed studies of the acceptability of MC in sub-Saharan Africa to assess factors that will influence uptake of circumcision in traditionally non-circumcising populations. Thirteen studies from nine countries were identified. Across studies, the median proportion of uncircumcised men willing to become circumcised was 65% (range 29-87%). Sixty nine percent (47-79%) of women favored circumcision for their partners, and 71% (50-90%) of men and 81% (70-90%) of women were willing to circumcise their sons. Because the level of acceptability across the nine countries was quite consistent, additional acceptability studies that pose hypothetical questions to participants are unnecessary. We recommend pilot interventions making safe circumcision services available in conjunction with current HIV prevention strategies and evaluating the safety and acceptability of circumcision.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Circumcision, Male / psychology*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*