HIV AIDS (Auckl). 2022 Dec 19;14:565-575. doi: 10.2147/HIV.S387380. eCollection 2022.
BACKGROUND: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) remains the leading cause of years of life lost among adolescent boys in eastern and southern Africa. Medical male circumcision (MMC) is a cost-effective one-time intervention that can reduce the risk of heterosexual HIV acquisition in men by approximately 60%. Despite its importance in HIV prevention, the uptake of MMC remains suboptimal among adolescent boys. This study aimed to identify factors associated with low MMC uptake among adolescent boys in Tanzania.
METHODS: This study was a secondary analysis of the 2016-17 Tanzania HIV Impact Survey. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the participants’ characteristics. Unadjusted and adjusted multinomial logistic regression models were fitted to identify factors associated with low MMC uptake among adolescent boys.
RESULTS: A total of 2605 older adolescents (15-19 years) and 1296 young adolescents (10-14 years) were analyzed. The MMC uptake rates among older and young adolescents were 56.5% and 45.1%, respectively. Lower MMC uptake was found among respondents in rural areas (adjusted relative risk ratio [aRRR] = 0.40, 95% CI: 0.28-0.57), in the traditionally non-circumcising zone (aRRR = 0.30, 95% CI: 0.23-0.41), participants with no formal education (aRRR = 0.32, 95% CI: 0.23-0.41), and those living in lower wealth quintile households (aRRR = 0.20, 95% CI: 0.11-0.36). Respondents who were not covered by health insurance (aRRR = 0.67, 95% CI: 0.48-0.94) and those who had no comprehensive HIV knowledge (aRRR = 0.55, 95% CI: 0.44-0.70) were also found to have lower uptake of MMC.
CONCLUSION: To achieve and maintain high MMC coverage, MMC interventions for HIV prevention should focus on uncircumcised adolescent boys who are rural residents, of lower socioeconomic status, and residing in traditionally non-circumcising communities. Furthermore, dissemination of HIV knowledge and increasing health insurance coverage may encourage more adolescent boys to undergo MMC.