Male circumcision (MC) has been shown to reduce the risk of female to male transmission of HIV. The goal of this survey was to explore the acceptability of MC among the Chinese and to identify factors associated with circumcision preference.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted between September 2009 and December 2010. We interviewed 2,219 male community participants, from three high HIV prevalence provinces in western China. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on MC knowledge, willingness to accept MC, reasons to accept or refuse MC, and sexual behaviors and health. For those who refused MC, a health education intervention providing information on the benefits of circumcision was conducted. We used multiple logistic regression models to identify factors associated with the acceptability of MC.
Of the respondents (n = 2,219), 44.6% (989/2,219) reported they would accept MC for the following reasons: promotion of female partners' hygiene (60.3%), redundant foreskin (59.4%), prevention of penile cancer (50.2%), enhanced sexual pleasure (41.4%), and protection against HIV and STDs (34.2%). The multivariable logistic regression showed that five factors were associated with MC willingness: long foreskin (OR = 15.98), residing in Xinjiang province (OR = 3.69), being younger than 25 (OR = 1.60), knowing hazards of redundant foreskin (OR = 1.78), and having a friend who underwent circumcision (OR = 1.36).
The acceptability of male circumcision was high among the general population in China. Our study elucidates the factors associated with circumcision preference and suggests that more health education campaigns about positive health effects are necessary to increase the MC rate in China.