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Acceptability of male circumcision among mothers with male children in Mysore, India

Madhivanan, Purnimaa,b; Krupp, Karlb; Chandrasekaran, Varalakshmib; Karat, Samuel Cc; Reingold, Arthur La; Klausner, Jeffrey Dd

doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e3282ffde52
Epidemiology and Social

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.

From the aDepartment of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA

bPublic Health Research Institute, Mysore, India

cDepartment of Pediatrics, CSI Holdsworth Memorial Hospital, Mysore, India

dSan Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, California, USA.

Received 8 October, 2007

Revised 28 February, 2008

Accepted 4 March, 2008

Correspondence to Purnima Madhivanan, MD, MPH, PhD, Division of Epidemiology, University of California, 140 Warren Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-7350, USA. E-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.