Knowledge and Perception of Male Circumcision in Iringa, Tanzania
In the Iringa Region of Tanzania, HIV prevalence is estimated at over 16% of the adult population, which is more than three times the national average. This region also has one of the lowest male circumcision rates in the country. Male circumcision has been shown to reduce a man's risk of heterosexual HIV acquisition by up to 60%, and the government of Tanzania has recently initiated a program to circumcise men in the region. As male circumcision is promoted as an HIV prevention strategy, concern exists that nen may increase sexual risk behaviors because they believe they are less likely to acquire HIV. This could potentially decrease the impact of the intervention, since men are not fully protected and women do not receive any direct protection against HIV if their male partner is circumcised. This research will use qualitative methods to evaluate the behavioral impact of male circumcision in Iringa, Tanzania. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with circucised men and their female partners in order to obtain an in-depth understanding of how male circumcision is perceived within the Tanzanian context, and if behavior has changed as a result of these perceptions. Results from this research will be used to provide recommendations for locally-appropriate inteeventions to increase correct knowledge about the benefits and risks of male circumcision, thereby reducing the threat of increased risk behavior.