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PLoS One. 2009 Nov 2;4(11):e7687. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007687.

Acceptability of male circumcision for the prevention of HIV/AIDS in the Dominican Republic.

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Section of Infectious Diseases and the School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.



Male circumcision (MC) is an effective strategy to prevent HIV infection in heterosexual men. To our knowledge, there are no studies of the acceptability of this procedure in the Dominican Republic (DR). The main objective of this study was to assess the acceptability of MC to prevent HIV transmission among men ages 18 to 50 years in the Altagracia Province in the Dominican Republic. Because differences in culture and beliefs between Haitians and Dominicans could potentially influence their acceptability of MC, we conducted a comparative analysis based on national origin.


A survey was administered to a convenience sample of 368 men. The questionnaire was divided in 3 sections: 1) Background demographics (including national origin), 2) Male circumcision and 3) Sexual health. Stratified and logistic multivariate regression analyses were performed to identify factors associated with the acceptability of MC.


The sample consisted of 238 (65%) Dominicans and 130 (35%) Haitian immigrants. Almost all participants were uncircumcised (95%) and about half (52%) were single. The overall acceptability of MC was 29%. The number of men willing to be circumcised increased to 67% after an information session explaining the benefits of the procedure. 74% of men reported that they would be willing to circumcise their sons after hearing that information. In multivariate analysis, Haitian nationality (OR=1.86, 95% CI 1.01-3.41), knowing that circumcision improves hygiene (OR=2.78, 95% CI 1.29-6.0) and not believing that circumcision decreases sexual pleasure (OR=2.18, 95% CI 1.20-3.94) were associated with a higher acceptability of the procedure. Although age was not significantly associated with the willingness to be circumcised in the multivariate analysis, stratified analysis based on national origin suggested that younger Dominicans (<30 years of age) are more likely to accept the procedure when compared to their older counterparts (OR=2.17, 95% CI 1.14-4.12).


An important number of sexually active men in the DR may be willing to be circumcised if educational resources detailing the benefits of the procedure are made available. These educational activities would constitute a great opportunity to teach about sexual health and reinforce safe sex practices.

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