Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Services and Implications for the Provision of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision: Results of a Systematic Literature Review

May 2016 - Combination Prevention

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Kaufman, M.R., Smelyanskaya, M., Van Lith, L.M., et al. PLOS ONE (March 2016), 11(3):e0149892, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0149892.

The authors of this systematic review synthesized research on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) services for male adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa, and identified the best age-appropriate practices for this population. The 79 eligible studies, which were published between January 1990 and March 2014, tended to focus on SRH services for adolescents and VMMC services for males in general. Factors that facilitated effective services for adolescent males included involving parents and the community, creating a youth-friendly service environment, promoting additional perceived benefits of VMMC, and creating messages specifically for young males. National and media campaigns have been effective in reaching male adolescents with specific information about VMMC and its protective effects. Such factors as feelings of shame, negative interactions with providers, violations of privacy, and fear of pain comprised barriers to SRH and VMMC services. The authors called for more research to explore how to tailor counseling on SRH during the VMMC process to adolescents of different ages, levels of maturity, and sexual experience.

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