Original Research

Knowledge about male circumcision and perception of risk for HIV among youth in Harare, Zimbabwe

Kudzaishe Mangombe, Ishmael Kalule-Sabiti
Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine | Vol 20, No 1 | a855 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhivmed.v20i1.855 | © 2019 Kudzaishe Mangombe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 April 2018 | Published: 30 April 2019

About the author(s)

Kudzaishe Mangombe, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo, Zimbabwe
Ishmael Kalule-Sabiti, Department of Population Studies and Demography, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Mmabatho, South Africa

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Background: Male circumcision will require high uptake among previously non-circumcising countries to realise the impact of circumcising in preventing HIV. Little is known about whether youths are knowledgeable about male circumcision and its relationship with HIV prevention and their perception of risk of HIV infection.

Objective: This article aimed to ascertain youth’s knowledge about male circumcision and perception of risk of HIV infection.

Methods: A quantitative study on 784 youth (men aged 15–35 years) was conducted in Harare, Zimbabwe, after obtaining their consent. Multivariate analysis examined the associations between background characteristics and knowledge about male circumcision and the perception of risk of HIV infection.

Results: The results revealed that age was a significant predictor of knowledge about male circumcision among youth in Harare, as was educational attainment and ever having tested for HIV. In addition, youth who had heard of voluntary medical male circumcision were more likely to have high knowledge of male circumcision compared to those who had never heard of it. The results also showed that male circumcision status was associated with higher knowledge about male circumcision compared to those who were not circumcised. The study also found that educational attainment, belonging to the Shona ethnic group, never having tested for HIV and disapproval of voluntary counselling and testing prior to male circumcision were associated with the perception of risk of HIV infection.

Conclusion: The study provides two recommendations: the need to strengthen perceived susceptibility to HIV among the youth and the need for advocacy on the health benefits of male circumcision.


Knowledge about male circumcision; Perception of risk to HIV; Youth; Zimbabwe; Voluntary medical male circumcision; Voluntary HIV counselling


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