A Clinical Trial to Introduce Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention in Areas of High Prevalence in the Dominican Republic.

BACKGROUND: Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) is an effective strategy to reduce the risk of HIV infection. Studies conducted in the Dominican Republic (DR) suggest that acceptability of VMMC among men may be as high as 67%. The goal of this clinical trial was to assess the acceptability, uptake and safety for VMMC services in two areas of high HIV prevalence in the country. METHODS: This was a single-arm, non-randomized, pragmatic clinical trial. Study personnel received background information about the risks and benefits of VMMC and practical training on the surgical technique. A native speaking research assistant administered a questionnaire of demographics, sexual practices and knowledge about VMMC. One week after the surgery, participants returned for wound inspection and to answer questions about their post-surgical experience. RESULTS: 539 men consented for the study. Fifty seven were excluded from participation for medical or anatomical reasons and 28 decided not to have the procedure after providing consent. A total of 454 men were circumcised using the Forceps Guided Method Under Local Anesthesia. The rate of adverse events (AE) was 4.4% (20% moderate, 80% mild). There were no serious AEs and all complications resolved promptly with treatment. Eighty eight percent of clients reported being "very satisfied" and 12% were "somewhat satisfied" with the outcome at the one-week postoperative visit. CONCLUSIONS: Recruitment and uptake were satisfactory. Client satisfaction with VMMC was high and the rate of AEs was low. Roll out of VMMC in targeted areas of the DR is feasible and should be considered. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02337179.




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