The second research question of the study was investigating different methods for promoting male circumcision in uncircumcised individuals. A total of 750 HIV- men were assigned 1:1:1 to clinic referral, text message reminders or counsellor follow-up. Male circumcision surgery was performed on two times more men when they received text message reminders or counsellor home visits than those who only got standard clinic referral care (Figure, right graph). As circumcision has been shown to decrease HIV infection risk ~60%, the simple and inexpensive method of text messaging could be a powerful tool in reducing HIV incidence in these populations.
Overall, the study highlights the importance of continuing patient education and follow-up care post HIV testing contemporaneously with ART for achieving low viral load in rural eastern and southern Africa.
Barnabas RV, van Rooyen H, Tumwesigye E, Brantley J, Baeten JM, van Heerden A, Turyamureeba B, Joseph P, Krows M, Thomas KK, Schaafsma TT, Hughes JP, Celum C. Uptake of antiretroviral therapy and male circumcision after community-based HIV testing and strategies for linkage to care versus standard clinic referral: a multisite, open-label, randomised controlled trial in South Africa and Uganda. Lancet HIV. 2016 May;3(5):e212-20.
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