Sex with stitches: The resumption of sexual activity during the post-circumcision healing period in Zambia (PDF)
Presentation at the 19th meeting of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research, Quebec City, 10-13 July
Hewett,Paul C.; Hallett,Timothy B.; Mensch,Barbara S.; Garnett,Geoffrey P.; Kumbutso,Dzekedzeke; Todd,Petra E.
Publication date: 2011
Presentation given by Population Council researcher, Paul C. Hewett, at the 19th meeting of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research in Quebec City, July 10-13. As male circumcision (MC) programs are scaled up for HIV prevention, it is critically important to measure the prevalence of risk behaviors post-MC and the potential impact of these risk behaviors at the population level. Of particular concern is the potential risk of increased HIV transmission and acquisition as a result of premature resumption of sexual activity during the six-week healing period post-circumcision, during which clients are instructed to abstain from sex. Preliminary findings from a study in Zambia indicate that of the men who were followed up, 24% reported resuming sexual activity prior to six weeks. Of men who resumed sex prior to six weeks, 82% reported at least one unprotected sex act, and 32% reported multiple sexual partners. But even with this prevalence of risk behaviors and the greater risk of HIV acquisition due to sex during the wound-healing period, modeling by Council researchers and partners shows that MC in the first year still yields a large net reduction in HIV infections.