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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Framing Male Circumcision to Promote its Adoption in Different Settings

  • Author(s): Gilliam, Franklin D.
  • Brooks, Ronald A.
  • Leibowitz, Arleen A.
  • Klosinski, Lee E.
  • Sawires, Sharif
  • Szekeres, Greg
  • Weston, Mark
  • Coates, Thomas J.
  • et al.

The effectiveness of male circumcision in preventing transmission of HIV from females to males has been established. Those who are now advocating its widespread use face many challenges in convincing policy-makers and the public of circumcision’s value. We suggest that frames are a useful lens for communicating public health messages that may help promote adoption of circumcision. Frames relate to how individuals and societies perceive and understand the world. Existing frames are often hard to shift, and should be borne in mind by advocates and program implementers as they attempt to promote male circumcision by invoking new frames. Frames differ across and within societies, and advocates must find ways of delivering resonant messages that take into account prior perceptions and use the most appropriate means of communicating the benefits and value of male circumcision to different audiences.

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