J Biosoc Sci. 2019 Oct 14:1-13. doi: 10.1017/S0021932019000634. [Epub ahead of print]
Voluntary medical male circumcision and HIV in Zambia: expectations and observations.
The study analysed the HIV/AIDS situation in Zambia six years after the onset of mass campaigns of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC). The analysis was based on data from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) conducted in 2001, 2007 and 2013. Results show that HIV prevalence among men aged 15-29 (the target group for VMMC) did not decrease over the period, despite a decline in HIV prevalence among women of the same age group (most of their partners). Correlations between male circumcision and HIV prevalence were positive for a variety of socioeconomic groups (urban residence, province of residence, level of education, ethnicity). In a multivariate analysis, based on the 2013 DHS survey, circumcised men were found to have the same level of infection as uncircumcised men, after controlling for age, sexual behaviour and socioeconomic status. Lastly, circumcised men tended to have somewhat riskier sexual behaviour than uncircumcised men. This study, based on large representative samples of the Zambian population, questions the current strategy of mass circumcision campaigns in southern and eastern Africa.