MEASUREMENT AND COMMUNICATION OF INDIVIDUAL HIV RISK THROUGH HIV TESTING AND COUNSELING TO CREATE DEMAND FOR SAFE MALE CIRCUMCISION: A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
Three randomized trials, one of which was conducted in Rakai, Uganda, have shown that male circumcision (MC) reduces HIV acquisition in men by approximately 60%. WHO/UNAIDS recommendations emphasize that MC should be considered an efficacious intervention for HIV prevention in countries and regions with heterosexual epidemics, high HIV and low male circumcision prevalence.
In Sub Saharan Africa, 14 countries including Uganda have been selected to scale up MC, for these countries the target is to achieve 80% circumcision prevalence by 2015 and maintain it till 2025. The scale up would avert more than 20 percent of new infections among men and women. However, Medical Male Circumcision (MMC) programs are faced with the challenge of low uptake of MMC by older sexually active men who might be at higher risk of HIV. The need to increase SMC coverage among men at high risk of HIV requires tools to measure individual HIV risk.
Rakai Health Sciences Program has received funding to carry out an individual randomized, unblinded, two-arm 1:1 trial comprising a total of 968 men (484 men per study arm) from Rakai Community Cohort Study (RCCS) to assess whether HIV Counseling and Testing, enhanced with measurement and communication of HIV risk (eHCT), increases uptake of MMC and leads to behavior modification among HIV-negative sexually active men aged 15-49 years in Rakai District, Uganda.
The study is using a risk nomogram developed from the Rakai Community Cohort Study data to measure individual HIV risk in the intervention group and standard HTC in the control arm. All men enrolled will be followed at six months to ascertain circumcision status and collect brief information on sexual behaviors such as number of sex partners, use of alcohol with sex, detailed data on their sexual partners etc.