International journal of environmental research and public health 2017 09 2114(10) pii 10.3390/ijerph14101097
Objective: To evaluate the beliefs of medical university students regarding male circumcision (MC), as well as attitudes and the predictors of its promotion in the case of adults at risk of HIV. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted between 2013-2016 at the Medical University in Szczecin, Poland, among final year Polish/foreign students from Northern Europe, using a standardized questionnaire. Results: There were 539 participants, median age 25 years, 40.8% males, and 66.8% were Polish nationals. The MC rate was 16.7%. Regarding HIV/AIDS knowledge, 66.6% of the students scored more than 75%; and, 34.2% knew that MC reduces the risk of HIV infection. One in eleven respondents (9.1%) believed that circumcised men felt more intense sexual pleasure. More than half of the respondents (54.8%) declared that they would recommend MC to adult patients at risk for HIV. The belief that circumcised men felt more intense sexual pleasure, and knowledge on MC regarding HIV risk reduction was associated with greater odds of recommending adult MC (OR = 3.35 and OR = 2.13, respectively). Conclusions: Poor knowledge of its benefits and a low willingness to promote the procedure-strongly dependent on personal beliefs-suggest that medical students may need additional training to help them to discuss MC more openly with adult men at risk for HIV infection. Knowledge may be an effective tool when making decisions regarding MC promotion.