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Perceptions of Men regarding Voluntary Circumcision at a Male Clinic in Lesotho

Pule Solomon Moabi, Thandisizwe Redford Mavundla

Abstract


The prevalence of medical male circumcision in Lesotho remains low even though efforts are made to encourage men to be circumcised. In Lesotho, as one of the countries with a high prevalence of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), male circumcision aims at reducing new infections and averting AIDS-related deaths. The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of the perceptions of men regarding voluntary medical male circumcision in Morija, Lesotho. A descriptive, explorative and contextual qualitative study was conducted using in-depth unstructured individual interviews with 10 uncircumcised men who are aged between 29 to 83 years. Tesch’s method of descriptive data analysis revealed the following themes: (1) perceived health beliefs (protection from diseases, sexual beliefs and personal hygiene), (2) perceived community-held beliefs (stigma, traditional and religious obligation), (3) men’s knowledge regarding circumcision, and (4) perceived misconceptions about circumcision (the right time for circumcision, myths and contraindications to circumcision). Men voiced their opinion that circumcision reduces their chances of being infected with HIV even though they are not circumcised. Improved sexual pleasure tends to be in the mindset of uncircumcised men as they perceive circumcision as improving sexual pleasure. It was therefore concluded that men’s perceptions of circumcision are diverse. The uptake of male circumcision depends on influencing the perceptions of men, facilitating access of circumcision services, and ensuring a supportive social support system for uncircumcised men. There is a need to upgrade already existing circumcision policies to include the above.


Keywords


human immunodeficiency virus; Lesotho; male clinic; perceptions; sexually transmitted infections; voluntary medical male circumcision

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.25159/2520-5293/4483