A cross-sectional study describing motivations and barriers to voluntary medical male circumcision in Lesotho

BMC Public Health. 2014 Oct 30;14:1119. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-1119.


Background: In February 2012, the Lesotho Ministry of Health launched a national voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) program. To assess the motivations for seeking VMMC, a cross-sectional mixed methods study was conducted among clients aged 18 years and older at four sites.

Methods: A total of 161 men participated in individual survey interviews and 35 participated in four focus group discussions.

Results: Men sought medical circumcision for the following main reasons: protection against HIV (73%), protection from other sexually transmitted infections (62%), and improved penile hygiene (47%). Forty percent learned about VMMC through friends who had already accessed services. According to these men, perceived concerns hindering service uptake include fear of pain (57%), a female provider (18%), and "compulsory" HIV testing (15%).

Conclusions: The study provides important insights into the motivations of clients seeking VMMC services. Findings can be used by the national VMMC program to attract more clients and address barriers to uptake.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Circumcision, Male / psychology*
  • Circumcision, Male / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Lesotho / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Rural Population
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Urban Population