''Perceptions and beliefs of University and College student towards male circumcision in Lusaka''
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Background: Data from a range of observational epidemiological studies, conducted since the mid-1980s, showed that circumcised men have a lower prevalence of HIV than those who are uncircumcised. Furthermore recent randomized controlled trials have presented a myriad of data pointing to substantial health benefits from scaling-up male circumcision in Zambia, due to its high HIV prevalence and low rates of male circumcision.Study Objective: The study was conducted to gain insights into the perceptions and beliefs about Male circumcision among University and college students in Lusaka, Zambia Materials and methods: Data collection included completion of a demographic form (See Annex) by each participant followed by the focus group discussions. Four focus group discussions with between 6 and 8 participants were conducted (See Table.1The focus group discussions were audio taped. One tape recorder was used at each discussion to provide backup recordings to the written scripts. Additionally, data was collected through in depth interviews with the aid of the semi-structured questionnaire. The participants in the focus group discussions recommended 10 participants for the in depth interviews, 6 and 4 participants from Evelyn Hone College and University of Zambia respectively.Results: Manifest content of the study findings suggests that there is a remarkable and consistent trend in the way that Medical Male Circumcision is perceived amongst college and university student. They present virtually universal knowledge about the procedure, its practice, where it should be conducted, the facts about circumcision and what the prevailing untruths are about the procedure. The female respondents approve of male circumcision for males of all ages. They were quite conservative in their speech where to express themselves adequately they would have to be coerced for example, into explicitly referring to the male sex organ as a penis.They are convinced that men are mainly going for circumcision because they have learnt that when you go for circumcision, the risk of contracting HIV and AIDS is reduced. However for them, the manifest issue was about enhanced hygiene for which they preferred a circumcised men to one who was not. Conclusions: The results from this particular study suggest that most young male adults are willing to go for circumcision and for the correct reasons as stipulated in the clearing house on “Basic facts about Circumcision”. In their opinion the main aspect which may limit scale up of circumcision would be lack of services as near to the prospective clients as possible and lack of sufficient information about male circumcision in various sections of society. The female students have grasped the opportunity and have become partners in their counterpart’s health seeking behavior. They are aware that there are indirect benefits for them when their male partners have undergone circumcision.Limitations: 1. Sample size was relatively small because like in this study, data collection methods in qualitative research are often labour intensive.2. The study was potentially subject to researcher bias, as those who were quite fluent on English were preferred. These subjects most likely came from similar backgrounds 3. The study was conducted in two tertiary institutions which entails lack of reproducibility and generalizable of the findings (may not be applicable to other subjects or settings)
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