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Service delivery interventions to increase uptake of voluntary medical male circumcision for HIV prevention: A systematic review.

  • Author(s): Atkins, Kaitlyn
  • Yeh, Ping Teresa
  • Kennedy, Caitlin E
  • Fonner, Virginia A
  • Sweat, Michael D
  • O'Reilly, Kevin R
  • Baggaley, Rachel
  • Rutherford, George W
  • Samuelson, Julia
  • et al.
Abstract

Background

Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) remains an essential component of combination HIV prevention services, particularly in priority countries in sub-Saharan Africa. As VMMC programs seek to maximize impact and efficiency, and to support World Health Organization guidance, specific uptake-enhancing strategies are critical to identify.

Methods

We systematically reviewed the literature to evaluate the impact of service delivery interventions (e.g., facility layout, service co-location, mobile outreach) on VMMC uptake among adolescent and adult men. For the main effectiveness review, we searched for publications or conference abstracts that measured VMMC uptake or uptake of HIV testing or risk reduction counselling within VMMC services. We synthesized data by coding categories and outcomes. We also reviewed studies assessing acceptability, values/preferences, costs, and feasibility.

Results

Four randomized controlled trials and five observational studies were included in the effectiveness review. Studies took place in South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. They assessed a range of service delivery innovations, including community-, school-, and facility-based interventions. Overall, interventions increased VMMC uptake; some successfully improved uptake among age-specific subpopulations, but urban-rural stratification showed no clear trends. Interventions that increased adult men's uptake included mobile services (compared to static facilities), home-based testing with active referral follow-up, and facility-based HIV testing with enhanced comprehensive sexual education. Six acceptability studies suggested interventions were generally perceived to help men choose to get circumcised. Eleven cost studies suggested interventions create economies-of-scale and efficiencies. Three studies suggested such interventions were feasible, improving facility preparedness, service quality and quantity, and efficiencies.

Conclusions

Innovative changes in male-centered VMMC services can improve adult men's and adolescent boys' VMMC uptake. Limited evidence on interventions that enhance access and acceptability show promising results, but evidence gaps persist due to inconsistent intervention definition and delivery, due in part to contextual relevance and limited age disaggregation.

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