MPhil study projects

Barriers and motivators to voluntary medical male circumcision uptake in men aged 18-49 years in eThekwini district, Kwa-Zulu Natal province, South Africa

Student: Vusi Ndaba

Country: South Africa

This qualitative study investigated barriers to and motivators for voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) uptake among men aged 18-49 in the eThekwini district, KwaZulu-Natal.

A population-based survey enrolled 100 male participants. The questionnaire gathered data, with 14% aged 18-24 and 86% aged 25-49. Most were employed (62%), and approximately 43% were married. Education level influenced understanding of VMMC’s HIV and cervical cancer prevention: 12% with below Grade 12 qualifications were uncertain about HIV prevention and 20% disagreed with cervical cancer prevention.

Motivators for VMMC included HIV prevention (96%), improved hygiene (95%), enhanced sexual performance (92%) and preventing cervical cancer in partners (90%). Deterrents included fear of pain (98%), avoiding HIV testing (92%), lack of MMC knowledge (66%), clinic factors (opening times) (68%) and seasonal timing (winter/summer) (62%). Motivators and barriers varied by age, with 61% citing setting a good example for children and 51% influenced by friends.

Tailored VMMC messages should address non-HIV benefits like hygiene and sexual appeal, and address men’s fear of pain. Promoting VMMC to women is crucial, given their influence on men’s decisions.