Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) Communication Toolkit in Kenya (English)

Summary

The Government of Kenya (GOK) with support of the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation (MOPHS), the National AIDS and STIs Control Programme (NASCOP) and Department of Health Promotion, as well as C-Change, CDC, FHI, PSI, UNICEF and the implementing partners (NRHS, IRDO, FACES, APHIA II Nyanza Program and the CMMB) have launched a Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) program in Kenya. As part of this initiative, the National and the Provincial Communication Sub-Committees on VMMC have developed a VMMC Communication Toolkit to create and sustain demand for MC and reinforce that, while MC reduces risk for men, it does not prevent HIV and must be combined with other prevention behaviors to be effective. The VMMC Communication Toolkit consists of communication materials, posters and pamphlets, a video, tools, a video discussion guide, a guide to working with the media, and a guide for adapting materials. The Toolkit targets affected audiences in Kenya's Nyanza province and includes a communication guide that builds upon the national VMMC strategy.

Video
<div class="video-embed-description"> Video - Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Communication in Kenya (Luo language/English subtitles) </div>
Video - Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Communication in Kenya (Luo language/English subtitles)

Research & Testing

This set of materials for the toolkit were developed for Nyanza Province, a priority area for the Government of Kenya's MC program. The principles, objectives and outcomes are derived from the broad framework of the National VMMC Communication Strategy, and these materials will be adapted for additional areas in Kenya. C-Change emphasizes information be tailored to specific audiences, including women, faith leaders, business leaders, and village elders. In addition, emphasis is placed on developing materials to address different information needs at different stages in the behavior change process.

Comments

Hugh Young

Since circumcision "must be combined with other prevention measures to be effective" what does it mean to say it is effective at all? Why not just use the other prevention measures, such as condoms, testing, monogamy or abstinence? USAID found that in 10 out of 18 countries, more of the CIRCUMCISED men have HIV than the non-circumcised. Maria Wawer and others in Uganda started to find that circumcising men INcreases the risk to women (who are already at greater risk), but they stopped the study for no good reason before that could be confirmed. Promoting mass circumcision is going to be a disaster.

Sarah Meyanathan

During the development of the VMMC Communication Toolkit, C-Change found that women were not being adequately addressed with other prevention methods. For VMMC to be effective, the role of women needs to be addressed in terms of how they can support VMMC, understand the healing period and that they are not protected from HIV even if their partner is circumcised. The key is not to promote mass circumcision, rather VMMC should be part of an integrated program that addresses the roles that sexual partners, family/friends and community, business, and religious leaders can play in supporting VMMC within the context of broader HIV prevention.

The AIDSTAR-One Monthly Prevention update recently cited a post trial MC follow-up study that examined the long term effectiveness of MC for HIV prevention in men that may be of interest: http://www.aidstar-one.com/focus_areas/prevention/resources/prevention_u...

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