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Kenyan women believe circumcision stops HIV spread, study finds

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Summary of story from Plus News, January 24, 2012

A study of Kenyan women has found that some women believe that HIV is a less serious threat after their partner has been circumcised.

The small study found 51 per cent of female participants and only 4 per cent of men believe that condoms are less necessary for protection against HIV after circumcision.

A greater number of women than men said after circumcision, they were more likely to have more than one sexual partner.

The survey, by the University of Ilinois’ Chicago School of Public Health, was conducted in Nyanza province, home to Luo, Kenya’s largest non-circumcising ethnic community.

Nelli Westercamp, co-author of the study, said: “If women do not have a good understanding of the partial protection afforded by male circumcision against HIV, they may view circumcised men as ‘safe’ or even HIV-negative, just because they are circumcised.”

Public health campaigns in Nyanza province focus on encouraging and performing circumcisions, along with education and counselling.

The study’s authors indicate that women should be integrally involved in this process.

Westercamp said, “It is crucial to involve women in the male circumcision decision-making, whether through counselling or public health education specifically targeting women.”

Since 2008, more than 350,000 men in Nyanza have been circumcised through the public health programmes.  The government aims to have circumcised 1.1 million men by 2013.

  1. courtney says:

    they pass this ignorance around in north america as well. many people still believe the fallacy that circumcision helps prevent AIDS.

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