Riess, T., Achieng, M., Bailey, R. PLOS ONE (May 2014), 9(5): e97748.
This study assessed women’s beliefs about male circumcision (MC) for HIV prevention and the implications for sexual preferences and behavior. The authors conducted in-depth, qualitative interviews with 30 sexually active women in Kisumu, Kenya, the setting of one of the MC clinical trials. The women understood that MC provided partial protection against HIV acquisition for men, and that being circumcised did not mean that men were HIV-negative. Overall, they preferred circumcised men as sex partners. They associated male circumcision with cleanliness, and perceived circumcised men as less likely to have sexually transmitted infections. Some thought that circumcised men took longer to reach ejaculation, which led to greater sexual satisfaction for women. The authors noted that these findings are consistent with other research, and that women’s perceptions should be considered in scale-up and uptake of MC. They suggested incorporating couple counseling into MC programs, emphasizing MC's partial protection, the continued need for safer sex and condom use, and the importance of planning for complete wound healing before having sex.