Factors contributing to the low uptake of medical male circumcision in Mutare Rural District, Zimbabwe

Afr J Prim Health Care Fam Med. 2016 May 31;8(2):e1-6. doi: 10.4102/phcfm.v8i2.966.


Background: Medical male circumcision (MMC) has become a significant dimension of HIV prevention interventions, after the results of three randomised controlled trials in Uganda, South Africa and Kenya demonstrated that circumcision has a protective effect against contracting HIV of up to 60%. Following recommendations by the World Health Organization, Zimbabwe in 2009 adopted voluntary MMC as an additional HIV prevention strategy to the existing ABC behaviour change model.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is thus to investigate the factors contributing to the low uptake of MMC.

Methods: The study was a quantitative cross-sectional survey conducted in Mutare rural district, Zimbabwe. Questionnaires with open- and closed-ended questions were administered to the eligible respondents. The target population were male participants aged 15-29 who met the inclusion criteria. The households were systematically selected with a sample size of 234. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences was used to analyse the data.

Results: Socioculturally, circumcised men are viewed as worthless (37%), shameful (30%) and are tainted as promiscuous (20%), psychological factors reported were infection and delayed healing (39%), being ashamed and dehumanised (58%), stigmatised and discriminated (40.2%) and fear of having an erection during treatment period (89.7%) whilst socio-economic factors were not having time, as it will take their time from work (58%) and complications may arise leading to spending money on treatment (84%).

Conclusion: Knowledge deficits regarding male medical circumcision lead to low uptake, education on male medical circumcision and its benefits. Comprehensive sexual health education should target men and dispel negative attitudes related to the use of health services.

Keywords: Low uptake; Medical Male Circumcision (MMC).; Factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Circumcision, Male / psychology*
  • Circumcision, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Health
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult
  • Zimbabwe / epidemiology