Trial results: increasing VMMC uptake

Men who received text messages or visits from lay counselors were almost twice as likely to get circumcised compared to men who received standard referrals at clinics in a study published in The Lancet HIV. This randomised controlled trial of interventions to increase uptake of antiretroviral therapy and voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) involved 1,325 HIV-positive men and 750 HIV-negative men recruited through community-based HIV testing and counseling in six communities in rural Uganda and South Africa. All of the community-based strategies tested with HIV-positive participants achieved high rates of linkage with HIV care, with no significant differences among the groups assigned to different interventions. Among the HIV-negative participants, 28 percent of the men who received standard referrals for VMMC became circumcised, compared to 48 percent of those who received text messages and 47 percent of those who were visited by lay counselors (The Lancet HIV, 9 March 2016).