Effect of Community Dialogue on Self-Initiated Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) and Uptake of HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) among Male Residents of Homa-Bay County, Kenya
Albert Ngetich , Benard O. Abongo , Gordon Okomo , Collins Ouma
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Background: Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) reduces transmission of HIV by about 60%. The WHO and UNAIDS recommended it as a new HIV prevention intervention. Counties in western Kenya region which are predominantly occupied by a traditionally non-circumcising Luo ethnic community have low uptake of VMMC. Homa-Bay County leads in HIV and AIDS scourge, thus requires an intervention. Methodology: Community dialogue, an interactive participatory communication has not been applied to support VMMC in Homa-Bay County. In a longitudinal study, the effect of community dialogue on self-initiated VMMC and uptake of HIV voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) was determined in male residents (aged 18-49 years) resident in Homa-Bay County, Kenya. Baseline (before intervention) and endline (after intervention) information were collected to capture the VMMC and VCT status. Total number counts accessing VCT and VMMC services were used to assess the effect of dialogue on the uptake of VMMC and VCT services. Results: Following community dialogue, males accessing VMMC services was generally increased: from 829 (January, 2018), 1695 (February, 2018), 815 (March, 2018) and finally 3600 (April, 2018) while for VCT services: from 360 (January, 2018), 1281 (February, 2018), 615 (March, 2018) and finally 1729 (April, 2018). For both VMMC and VCT, there was a positive increment on the numbers of males accessing the services following intervention. Conclusion: Since community dialogue is an effective intervention and increases the number of males in accessing VMMC and VCT services, it can be used as an intervention in the prevention of HIV infection.