Effectiveness of medical circumcision communication differentiation for HIV prevention in gay men

Poovan, Deon Fabio
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Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) is currently being implemented in South Africa as a prevention mechanism for HIV infection. Scientifically, research has shown that circumcision decreases the rate of heterosexual vagina-to-penis HIV infection. It has not been proven to provide the same effect in anal sex. This limitation has implications for gay men who engage in anal sex. This limitation is not communicated through current media and can place gay men at risk of believing that circumcision may prevent HIV infection via anal sex. This may lead to increased HIV infections in that population. Using a qualitative research strategy and semi-structured interviews, gay men’s perceptions and understandings of VMMC revealed that VMMC media can be misinterpreted and that the anal sex limitation is not present in communication messaging. VMMC policy implementers were interviewed and results revealed that gay men are not considered in VMMC policy. Recommendations from this study include proper policy analysis with the inclusion of consideration of gay men in VMMC policy, so that policy evaluation can include the detection of unintended outcomes on the gay population, such as the increase of HIV infections due to misinterpretation of policy communication.
Thesis (M.M. (Public and Development Management))--University of the Witwatersrand, Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, Graduate School of Public and Development Management, 2015.