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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

Understanding the socio-economic and sexual behavioural correlates of male circumcision across eleven voluntary medical male circumcision priority countries in southeastern Africa

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Fiona K. Lau, Sylvia Jayakumar, Sema K. Sgaier
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12889-015-2135-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declared that they have no competing interests, financial or non-financial, in the publication of this manuscript.

Authors’ contributions

FL participated in the design of the study, interpreted analysis results, and drafted the manuscript. SJ collected data used in this study, performed statistical analysis and participated in drafting of the manuscript. SS conceived the study idea, participated in study design, and provided critical feedback on the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Male circumcision (MC) has been demonstrated to be effective and cost-effective for HIV/AIDS prevention. Global guidance to adopt this intervention was announced in 2007 for countries with high HIV/AIDS prevalence and low MC prevalence. However, scale up of voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) programs in MC priority countries have been slow. Many of these countries have particular cultural barriers that impede uptake of this effective intervention. This analysis explored correlates of MC status among men and their socio-economic, health and sexual behaviour factors using DHS data (2006–2011) from 11 MC priority countries.


Our analysis included univariate unadjusted analyses for individual countries and the region (by combining all countries into one dataset) and a multiple logistic regression model.


Individual country results vary widely but alignment was mostly found between unadjusted analyses and multiple logistic regression model. The model found that men who are of the Muslim faith, reside in urban areas, have higher or secondary education attainment, hold professional occupations, and be in the richest wealth quintile are more likely to be circumcised. Circumcision is also positively correlated with lower reports of STIs, safe sexual behaviour, and HIV/AIDS prevention knowledge.


Since the data collected predate VMMC program launch in these countries, results can only indicate baseline associations. However, characteristics of these existing circumcision practices may be utilized for better population targeting and program management to achieve higher impact with this effective prevention strategy.
Additional file 1: Table A1. List of combined variables with questions selected from the questionnaire, coding and definitions. This table does not contain data but additional information on some of the variables used in the study. (DOCX 18 kb)
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