Factors affecting the uptake of voluntary medical male circumcision services among the youth in Kisumu County

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This study investigated the factors that affect the uptake of voluntary medical male circumcision services among the youth in Kisumu County. The research intended to contribute to the body of knowledge on VMMC. At policy level, the research sought to prompt a more acceptable approach towards implementation of VMMC in Luo land. In particular, the research sought to investigate the extent to which awareness of VMMC procedures, the socio-cultural norms and beliefs and the attitude of the service providers affect the uptake of VMMC services among the youth. The study applied the Theory of Planned Behaviour which questions the classical model of Belief, Attitude, and Behaviour. It operates from the premise that, behaviour is determined by one's intention, and intention is determined by the person's attitude toward the behaviour and the influence of the person's social environment or norms attitude towards behaviour; and that specific behaviour will have concrete consequence. The data were collected using a survey questionnaire, key informant guide and FGD guide. A total of 100 respondents, 2 key informants and 2 focus group discussions among the trainees in YPs, The finding of the study indicates that a majority of the respondents had knowledge on the procedures of VMMC however; the uptake is still low among the youth. Non-circumcision was mentioned by most participants as a significant cultural characteristic that distinguished the Luo from other communities, and some expressed fear that introducing circumcision could cause loss of this cultural identity. In as far as service providers attitude and service provision are concerned, the barrier to Me uptake was the long distance to the health facilities. The study recommends that the government carries out door to door campaigns to popularize circumcision as a tool for lowering the rate of HIV transmission . There is also need mass counseling for both men and women on the advantages of Me and the health care providers should demystify the belief that circumcision results in loss of virility or otherwise and properly educate the people on the link between Me and HIV transmission. Finally, there is need for a change of attitude among the Luos that Me is an alien culture and practicing it will make them slaves of other people's culture.

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