Are Men More Likely to Have Unsafe Sex Once Circumcised?


CCMS graduate, Ms Lungelo Khanyile obtained a Master’s degree in Social Sciences, with her thesis titled: Are Men More Likely to Have Unsafe Sex Once Circumcised?

The research revealed that men may engage in unsafe sex or have multiple concurrent partners once they are circumcised or go on to an oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) regimen.

The research, which earned Khanyile a master’s degree in Social Sciences, examined factors that influence how men choose which HIV prevention methods they want to use, focussing on oral PrEP and voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) and how men respond to risk compensation.

Risk compensation is ‘the idea that there will be an increase in risky behaviour when a person thinks their risk to HIV infection is low following the use of HIV preventative measures. Important in my study is the idea that men may have unsafe sex or have multiple concurrent partners once they have become circumcised or go onto an oral PrEP regimen.’

Her findings reveal that ‘there seems to be a lack of HIV knowledge, from contracting to preventing HIV infection. PrEP is seen as a panacea for HIV infection and would most likely result in the increase of risky sexual behaviour. The most prudent finding which would benefit society is that combination prevention is the only way to reduce our high HIV infection rates and that should include behaviour counselling.’

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