Advertising for Demand Creation for Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision

Nicholas Wilson, Reed College
Willa Friedman, Center for Global Development (CGD)
Sasha Frade, University of the Witwatersrand
Dino Rech, Centre for HIV and AIDS Prevention Studies (CHAPS)

Evidence from randomized controlled trials conducted in Kenya (Bailey et al 2007), Uganda (Gray et al 2007), and South Africa (Auvert et al 2005) indicates that voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) reduces HIV transmission by 51 to 76%. The WHO is aiding scale-up of subsidized mass VMMC campaigns in 14 priority countries, yet take-up remains low. We implemented a randomized controlled field experiment to test mechanisms for increasing VMMC take-up. We randomly assigned postcards offering a cash transfer conditional on completing the VMMC consultation, information on a possibly previously unknown benefit of VMMC, a framing message, or some combination thereof to 6,000 households in Soweto township in Johannesburg, South Africa. Our results indicate that the cash transfer approximately tripled VMMC take-up relative to a control group, the framing message approximately doubled VMMC take-up, and that the information on a possibly previously unknown benefit of VMMC had little effect.

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Presented in Session 197: Men's Sexual Health, Fertility, and Family Planning