Percent of population aged 15-49 years with correct knowledge of male circumcision for HIV prevention
Percent of population surveyed aged 15-49 years who respond correctly to specific questions regarding male circumcision as it relates to HIV prevention. The specific items to be tested may differ from one country to another, but illustrative questions to be used in a survey can include the following:
- Can a man who is circumcised also be HIV-positive?
- Can a circumcised man who has sex without a condom get infected with HIV during sex?
- Can a circumcised HIV-positive man who has sex without a condom infect his sex partner* with HIV?
- Can an HIV-negative woman who has sex without a condom with a circumcised HIV-positive man become infected with HIV?
- Can an HIV-positive woman who has sex without a condom with a circumcised HIV-negative man infect him with HIV?
- Can men reduce their chance of getting HIV by getting circumcised?
* The term ‘sex partner’ is used in the questions for men because it is appropriate for both heterosexuals and men who have sex with men.
This indicator is calculated as:
(Number of respondents with correct knowledge / Total number surveyed) x 100
Response to survey questions
Population-based survey or other representative survey
Evaluators should collect data on age, sex, education, and male circumcision status to better understand differences among these subgroups. Data can also be further disaggregated by the percent who answered a specific question correctly.
By measuring knowledge, this indicator shows the result of communication strategies creating awareness of the partially protective effect of male circumcision and for the continued use of safer sex practices. Evidence of a lack of knowledge or prevailing misconceptions suggests a need for enhanced communication strategies. Collecting data by age may inform the allocation of resources to improve communications that target certain age groups. Disaggregation by circumcision status may inform the adequacy of communications or counseling to uncircumcised men. And disaggregation by sex may inform the allocation of resources to improve communications that target a particular sex.
The questions posed above, which were developed by WHO and UNAIDS, only address the audience’s knowledge of risk of HIV transmission in specific scenarios. Evaluators should develop additional questions if they are seeking to determine the level of correct knowledge about other aspects of male circumcision in a given population.
male circumcision, HIV/AIDS, knowledge
WHO & UNAIDS. A guide to indicators for male circumcision programmes in the formal health care system. 2009. http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/malecircumcision/hiv_mc_me.pdf