IAS 2015Food vouchers succeed in increasing the rate of voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC) among Kenyan men, aidsmap reports, MedPage Today reports. Researchers presented findings from the study of men 21 to 39 years old in Western Kenya at the 8th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Three randomized controlled trials in the mid-2000s found that VMMC reduces female-to-male transmission of HIV by about 60 percent.

A total of 909 uncircumcised men, with an average age of 39 and median daily earnings of $3.80, were randomized to receive one of the following as incentives for undergoing circumcision: food vouchers worth $12.50; entry into a lottery to win prizes, including a 5 percent chance of a bicycle or smartphone and a better chance of winning other items; or a 60-cent food voucher (this was the study’s control).

The lottery group’s VMMC rate did not have a statistically significant difference from that of the control group. The $12.50 food voucher group was 7.1 times more likely to receive a circumcision than the control group. While only a respective 8 percent and 1.3 percent of the men in the large food voucher and control groups did get circumcised, these rates were high relative to that of the general population.

To read the MedPage Today article, click here.