Factors Affecting Uptake of Male Circumcision among Students. Case Study: Makerere University, Kampala
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Male Circumcision (MC) is the surgical removal of all or part of the foreskin from the penis. It is done for medical reasons as it has been sought to reduce the risk of female to male transmission of HIV by up to 60% (Gray, 2007). It has also been associated with lower transmission of sexually transmitted infections. Male Circumcision services have been scaled up in countries with generalized heterosexual HIV epidemics and low rates of male circumcision like Uganda. Kampala is the Ugandan capital city, inhabited by a community with a sizeable number of non-circumcised males. The objective of this study was to determine the uptake of male circumcision among students at MAK and identify factors associated with circumcision uptake. The study was a cross-sectional descriptive study that utilized quantitative methods for data collection. The study was done at MAK, in Makerere, one of the hills on which Kampala, the capital city of Uganda is built. One hundred and thirty-nine (139) participants were randomly selected, all of whom were students. A questionnaire was administered to the participants for determining the uptake of MC. It had three sub-sections namely demographic characteristics, general knowledge about MC and AIDS and acceptability of MC, which was used to collect data on the main outcome measures. Data was entered using Epi-data and SPSS, STATA, MS EXCEL were used for analysis. Univariate, bivariate and multivariate statistics were generated for all the variables with circumcision uptake as the dependent variable for the later. MC among students in MAK is high, and majority of the non-circumcised individuals desire to be circumcised, but lack the necessary information, fear the pain the might go through during the process and lack enough funds to operate. There is also a role played by the social, economic and political perceptions about MC that include religious and traditional attachment of the exercise. The researcher suggests that male politicians, stakeholders should avail information and sensitize the people about the MC programs and use of media to phase out myths about male circumcision. Circumcision be included in the education curriculum of the students especially at primary school level so as to equip students with knowledge about MC at a young age, a need for the involvement of the relevant leaders.