Status of voluntary medical male circumcision in Kenya: findings from 2 nationally representative surveys in Kenya, 2007 and 2012

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2014 May 1;66 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S37-45. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000000121.


Background: The Kenyan Ministry of Health initiated a voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) program in 2008. We used data from 2 nationally representative surveys to estimate trends in the number, demographic characteristics, and sexual behaviors of recently circumcised and uncircumcised HIV-uninfected men in Kenya.

Methods: We compared the proportion of circumcised men between the first and second Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey (KAIS 2007 and KAIS 2012) to assess the progress of Kenya's VMMC program. We calculated the number of uncircumcised HIV-uninfected men. We conducted descriptive analyses and used multivariable methods to identify the variables independently associated with HIV-uninfected uncircumcised men aged 15-64 years in the VMMC priority region of Nyanza.

Results: The proportion of men who reported being circumcised increased significantly from 85.0% in 2007 to 91.2% in 2012. The proportions of circumcised men increased in all regions, with the highest increases of 18.1 and 9.0 percentage points in the VMMC priority regions of Nyanza and Nairobi, respectively. Half (52.5%) of HIV-uninfected and uncircumcised men had never been married, and 84.6% were not using condoms at all times with their last sexual partner.

Conclusions: VMMC prevalence has increased across Kenya demonstrating the success of the national program. Despite this accomplishment, the Nyanza region remains below the target to circumcise 80% of all eligible men aged 15-49 years between 2009 and 2013. As new cohorts of young men enter into adolescence, consistent focus is needed. To ensure sustainability of the VMMC program, financial resources and coordinated planning must continue.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Circumcision, Male / trends*
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • HIV Seropositivity / epidemiology*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Kenya / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult