Study examines incentives for male circumcision

Offering men incentives in the form of food vouchers modestly increased the likelihood that they would become circumcised within a few months, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and presented at the AIDS 2014 conference. About 1,500 uncircumcised men in Kenya were randomly assigned to be offered vouchers worth different amounts or no compensation. Research had found that men were often deterred by the lost wages from time away from work and the cost of traveling to and from health facilities to have the operation. Nine percent of the men offered vouchers worth US$15 and 6.6 percent of the men offered an $8.75 voucher became circumcised, compared to 1.6 of those offered no voucher. The increase in uptake of male circumcision was higher among older and married men and those at highest risk of HIV infection (AFP, 21 July 2014).