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Scaling up Male Circumcision Service Provision

a PSC Research Project

Investigator:   Rebecca L. Thornton

The recent finding that circumcision reduces the likelihood of HIV infection has led to many discussions about how circumcision might be a viable prevention strategy for reducing the spread of HIV. However, the roll-out and scaling up of services in Africa has been slow. There have been limited rigorous studies able to inform service providers as to how most effectively to scale-up male circumcisions in Africa. This study will measure the effects of subsidies and information/counselling on increasing the demand for male circumcisions among adult men and infants in Malawi. Partnering with Banja La Mtsogolo (BLM), a reproductive health NGO in Malawi, the evaluation will involve surveys among 3,000 adult men living within clinic catchment areas and 1,500 women attending antenatal and neonatal clinics. At the end of the survey, respondents will receive vouchers of varying prices for a male circumcision at BLM clinics. This will allow for measuring the elasticity of demand for circumcision among both adult men and women (for their infant sons). In addition to the voucher randomization, the evaluation will randomly allocate information about HIV and circumcision among respondents to measure the effect of information as well as the relative effect of information on willingness to pay. The project will also evaluate the effectiveness of other counselling methods on utilization of circumcision services. Results from the evaluation will guide policy makers and health providers in cost-effective ways to increase male circumcisions, thereby reducing HIV infections.

Funding Period: 05/01/2010 to 06/30/2012

Country of Focus: Malawi

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