Dr. Elizabeth Kelvin, assistant professor of epidemiology at the CUNY School of Public Health co-authored a paper on health care providers’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices about medical male circumcision and their understandings of partial efficacy for HIV prevention.
The researchers used in-depth interviews at three rural and three urban randomly selected primary health care clinics, randomly selected in eThekwini District, KwaZulu-Natal. They selected 25 health care providers, including nurse managers, nurses, and counselors. Although most providers had heard that medical male circumcision could reduce risk of HIV acquisition in men, most did not have accurate scientific understandings of this. Some providers had misperceptions about the limited/partial protection medical male circumcision offers. Many had concerns that their communities would misunderstand it, causing increased risky sexual behavior. These data provide a baseline of providers’ understandings of medical male circumcision prior to roll-out, and can be used to compare current data and ensure accurate messaging to clients. Health care provider messaging should build client understandings of the meaning of partially efficacious technologies.