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The Impact of a Pro-Male Circumcision (MC) Approach towards an HIV/AIDS Prevention Strategy in Botswana

Year: 2010
Working paper number: 268
Author: Mbayi, Letsema
Unit: ASRU
Abstract:

This paper investigates how the emergence of male circumcision (MC) as part of a broader HIV prevention strategy will impact on Botswana's HIV/AIDS epidemic. Although is been more then two decades since Botswana's first case of HIV was diagnosed, HIV/AIDS is still the country's major development challenge. The government has played a key role in providing comprehensive treatment and care interventions and although prevention has always been the government's most important priority, the success of this has been limited. If Botswana is to succeed in decreasing the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in future generations there is a paramount need for more effective prevention interventions. Evidence of the preventative impact of MC presents a major opportunity to address this need. Botswana's government has recognized this opportunity and has begun a scale-up of the MC service in the country's health sector. Qualitative methods and quantitative methods show that the current pro-MC approach towards HIV prevention strategy in Botswana could have a positive impact on the country's HIV/AIDS epidemic. However, the possible unintended effects of the scale-up of MC on behaviour should be considered carefully. Great care should be taken in ensuring that there is clarity amongst circumcised men, as well as the general public, on the 'limited' preventative impact of MC to deter behavioural disinhibition from taking place.


Publication file: WP268.pdf
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