Objective: There is currently little information on the acceptability of male circumcision in India. This study investigated the acceptability of male circumcision among Indian mothers with male children.
Design: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among a convenience sample of 795 women attending a reproductive health clinic in Mysore, India, between January and April 2007.
Results: Of the 1012 invited eligible participants, 795 women agreed to participate (response rate = 78.5%). The majority of women were Hindus (78%), 18% were Muslims, and 4% were Christians. About 26% of respondents had no schooling, 29% had 7 years of schooling, 42% had 8-12 years, and 3% had more than 12 years. After women were informed about the risks and benefits of male circumcision, a majority of women with uncircumcised children (n = 564, 81%) said they would definitely circumcise their children if the procedure were offered in a safe hospital setting, free of charge, and a smaller number (n = 50, 7%) said they would probably consider the procedure. Only seven women (1%) said that they would definitely/probably not consider male circumcision, and 63 (9%) were unsure.
Conclusion: Since male circumcision has been found to decrease risk of HIV infection among men, it is important to determine its acceptability as a potential HIV prevention strategy in India. This study found male circumcision to be highly acceptable among a broad range of mothers with male children in Mysore, India. Further studies of acceptability among fathers and other populations are warranted.