Willingness to be circumcised for preventing HIV among Chinese men who have sex with men

Published: August 1, 2008

Willingness to be circumcised for preventing HIV among Chinese men who have sex with men

Background: Male circumcision can reduce risk of HIV acquisition among heterosexual men, but its effectiveness and acceptability are unknown in men who have sex with men (MSM). The feasibility of providing adult male circumcision among Chinese men is unknown given powerful cultural norms against neonatal and adult circumcision. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate willingness to participate (WTP) in a circumcision trial among Chinese MSM.

Methods: Questionnaire interviews were conducted from September to November 2007 within an ongoing MSM cohort in China’s capital city Beijing.

Results: Of 332 MSM approached, 328 (98.8%) completed the survey. Some 11.6% (38/328) participants reported having been circumcised, most of them due to a tight foreskin. Of 284 uncircumcised MSM, 16.9% said they were absolutely willing to participate, 26.4% were probably, 28.9% were probably not and 27.8% were absolutely not; 81% said male circumcision would help maintain genital hygiene. The major motivators for WTP included contribution to AIDS scientific research and getting free medical service. Men also had concerns about ineffectiveness of circumcision in reducing HIV/STI risks and side effects of the surgery. Those who were Beijing residents (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 0.50), had found sexual partners through Internet (AOR: 0.47), and had concerns about the effectiveness of circumcision (AOR: 0.42) were less likely to be willing to participate in a trial.

Conclusions: Circumcision is uncommon among Chinese MSM. Fewer than half were willing to be circumcised. Considerable community education will be needed in circumcision advocacy among MSM in China. A clinical trial for efficacy among MSM should be considered.

-Abstract can be found at link below-

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