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psc brown bag iconCircumcision, Information, and HIV Prevention

Rebecca Thornton (PSC), Susan Godlonton (PSC, U of M), Alister Munthali

11/01/2010, at noon in room 6050 ISR-Thompson.

Despite the fact that male circumcision has been shown to significantly lower the transmission rate of HIV, many countries have been slow at adopting male circumcision as a core HIV prevention strategy. One concern about disseminating the information about male circumcision and HIV is that circumcised men may engage in riskier sex after learning that they are less at risk. Among a sample of approximately 900 circumcised and 300 un-circumcised men living in rural Malawi, we randomly disseminated the information about HIV transmission risk and male circumcision by village. We measure the behavioral response to learning this information among circumcised and uncircumcised men. We find no evidence of dis-inhibition among circumcised men in the treatment group immediately after the information campaign or one year later as measured by condom purchases and self-reported sexual behavior. Uncircumcised men in the treatment group significantly increase the likelihood of purchasing condoms immediately after the information intervention by approximately 10 percentage points and this is weakly persistent after one year. Consistent with this, we present evidence that uncircumcised men who learn about HIV and circumcision decreased risky sexual behavior.


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