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AIDS Care. 2015;27(8):986-9. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2015.1017797. Epub 2015 Mar 4.

Voluntary medical male circumcision for HIV prevention and early resumption of sexual activity: a literature review.

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a Center for Communication Programs , Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health , Baltimore , MD , USA.


A number of programs have focused on scale-up and implementation research regarding voluntary medical male circumcision; however, there is limited research with regard to factors and strategies related to abstinence compliance and the effects of resuming sex during the wound healing period (42-day post-circumcision). We searched the literature for peer-reviewed articles examining early resumption of sex during this period. This review identifies factors that may predispose a client to engage in sex during the 42-day postoperative period, examines how early resumption of sex can inhibit wound healing and increase seroconversion, and reviews strategies that may increase adherence to abstinence during the wound healing period. We found that the most common factor that may predispose a client to engage in sex before the end of the postoperative period is marriage or cohabitation with a sexual partner. With regard to the effect of sex during the postoperative period on wound healing and seroconversion, we found that adverse events incurred were mild, and there was an increased risk of seroconversion. The only strategy studied to increase compliance to abstinence during the postoperative period utilized text messaging, and the trial results indicate that text messaging did not increase abstinence compliance.


HIV; abstinence; early sex; male circumcision; wound healing

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