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Increased Uptake of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) Services among Older Men Following Mobile Technology Demand Creation in Shinyanga and Simiyu, Tanzania


In 2007, the United Nations recommended provision of VMMC in settings with high HIV prevalence and low rates of male circumcision (MC). This recommendation was based on randomized studies in Africa, which demonstrated that MMC reduces HIV acquisition by 38%_66% [1]. Tanzania was among 13 countries selected for early implementation. In response, IntraHealth International, through the US PresidentÍs Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supported the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) to launch a VMMC program in Shinyanga and Simiyu regions where HIV prevalence is high (7.4%) and VMMC is low (30-32%). Older men age 30-49 have the highest risk of contracting HIV and, thus, are in greater need of the protective effects of VMMC; however, significant cultural and attitudinal barriers hinder MC acceptance and uptake in this population. For example, from Oct 2010-Sep 2012, 65,812 males in Tanzania were circumcised, yet only 7.1% were men over 20 years. To maximize impact, the project implemented an intensive social mobilization initiative using mobile text messaging (SMS) and community sensitization activities targeting men over 20 years.


To describe the success of mobile text messaging and community sensitization activities to increase the number of men 20 years and above accessing VMMC services in Tanzania.

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