In recent years safe voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC) has been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the preventive strategies for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infection for those countries with high HIV prevalence and low medical male circumcision rates. This study aimed to assess the level of knowledge, attitude, and acceptance of safe VMMC among male university students attending Botswana University. A survey instrument was used to collect descriptive data in this study. Out of the total number of faculties within the university (8), we purposively selected our sample from the faculty of science due to its predominant male student population of 1,045. A total of 437 students were recruited from the various departments within the faculty. A semi-structured questionnaire was used for data collection. Study results indicate that 95.4% of the participants had heard about VMMC and 64.8% of those who had heard about VMMC were uncircumcised. About 31.4% knew about the complications of VMMC. Participants having undergone VMMC were twice as likely to be aware that VMMC reduces the risk of penile cancer and that it improves penile hygiene. Participants who knew that VMMC reduces the risk of other STIs were found to be four times more likely to accept VMMC as a preventive method for HIV infection. Participants having been medically circumcised were four times more likely to disagree with the statement that VMMC decreases sexual satisfaction and ten times more likely to disagree with the statement that the tip of the penis has to be covered by the foreskin. Study findings suggest that in terms of knowledge and attitude, the most significant factor associated with men’s acceptability of VMMC was their awareness that it reduces the risk of other STIs. It is therefore concluded that even though there exist a high-level of awareness and favourable attitude towards VMMC among the young male population; such awareness does not seem to influence individuals to become medically circumcized.
Key words: Voluntary male medical circumcision, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention, sexual transmitted infections, university students.
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