AIDS care 2018 03 22() 1-12 doi 10.1080/09540121.2018.1453921
Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) prevalence in priority countries in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly among men aged ≥20 years, has not yet reached the goal of 80% coverage recommended by the World Health Organization. Determining novel strategies to increase VMMC uptake among men ≥20 years is critical to reach HIV epidemic control. We conducted a systematic review to analyze the effectiveness of economic compensation and incentives to increase VMMC uptake among older men in order to inform VMMC demand creation programs. The review included five qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods studies published in peer reviewed journals. Data was extracted into a study summary table, and tables synthesizing study characteristics and results. Results indicate that cash reimbursements for transportation and food vouchers of small nominal amounts to partially compensate for wage loss were effective, while enrollment into lotteries offering prizes were not. Economic compensation provided a final push toward VMMC uptake for men who had already been considering undergoing circumcision. This was in settings with high circumcision prevalence brought by various VMMC demand creation strategies. Lottery prizes offered in the studies did not appear to help overcome barriers to access VMMC and qualitative evidence suggests this may partially explain why they were not effective. Economic compensation may help to increase VMMC uptake in priority countries with high circumcision prevalence when it addresses barriers to uptake. Ethical considerations, sustainability, and possible externalities should be carefully analyzed in countries considering economic compensation as an additional strategy to increase VMMC uptake.