Background: For prevention of HIV, early infant male circumcision (EIMC) needs to be scaled up in countries with high HIV prevalence. Routine EIMC will maintain the HIV prevention gains anticipated from current adult male circumcision initiatives. This paper presents the results of a field study of EIMC conducted in Zimbabwe.
Methods: The study was observational and based on the World Health Organization (WHO) framework for clinical evaluation of male circumcision devices. We recruited parents of newborn male infants between August 2013 and July 2014 from 2 clinics. Nurse-midwives used the AccuCirc device to circumcise eligible infants. We followed participants for 14 days after EIMC. Outcome measures were EIMC safety, acceptability, and feasibility.
Results: 500 male infants were enrolled in the field study. The infants were circumcised between 6 and 60 days postpartum. The procedure took a median of 17 minutes . Mothers’ knowledge of male circumcision was extensive. Of the 498 mothers who completed the study questionnaire, 91% knew that male circumcision decreases the risk of HIV acquisition, and 83% correctly stated that this prevention is partial. Asked about their community’s perception of EIMC, 40% felt that EIMC will likely be viewed positively in their community; 13% said negatively; and 47% said the perception could be both ways. 7 moderate or severe adverse events occurred. All resolved without lasting effects. Nearly all mothers (99%) reported great satisfaction with the outcome, would recommend EIMC to other parents, and would circumcise their next sons.
Conclusion: This first field study in sub-Saharan Africa of the AccuCirc device for EIMC demonstrated that EIMC conducted by nurse-midwives with this device is safe, feasible, and acceptable to parents.
This paper is part of a supplement of Global Health: Science and Practice developed in partnership with UNICEF and PEPFAR. The articles featured in this collection offer insights into country experiences with introducing EIMC services, and highlight important considerations for policy, service delivery, costs, and demand creation.