Increasing acceptability and uptake of voluntary male medical circumcision in Zambia: Implementing and disseminating an evidence-based intervention

Deborah L. Jones, Violeta J. Rodriguez, Stefani A. Butts, Kris Arheart, Robert Zulu, Ndashi Chitalu, Stephen M. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Abstract Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) uptake in Africa could prevent 3.4 million HIV infections across a 10 year span. In Zambia, however, ∼80 per cent of uncircumcised men report no interest in undergoing VMMC. The Spear & Shield (S&S) intervention has been shown to be more effective than control or observation of only conditions at increasing the number of VMMCs. This study identified predictors of S&S implementation success or failure to create an "early warning" system to enable remedial action during implementation. Participants were n = 48 staff members from 12 community health facilities conducting the S&S program in Lusaka Province, Zambia. Quantitative assessments included demographics, provider attitudes, barriers to research uptake, staff burnout, and organizational readiness. Qualitative interviews were also conducted and quantified for analysis using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). Two-thirds (66%) of staff were women with a mean age of 37.67 years (SD = 7.51). Quantitatively, staff performance (p =.033) and decreased levels of staff burnout (p =.025) were associated with S&S implementation success. Qualitatively, constructs such as improved planning, executing, and self-reflection and evaluation were associated with S&S implementation success (p =.005). Identifying these factors facilitated remedial action across health facilities. This study illustrates the utility of the CFIR to guide program decision making in VMMC implementation in the Zambian context. Early identification of challenges to implementation may enable remedial action to enhance the likelihood of program sustainability. Effective monitoring strategies for HIV prevention interventions may thus enhance dissemination, implementation, and sustainability goals to bridge research and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)907-916
Number of pages10
JournalTranslational behavioral medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 21 2018


  • HIV
  • HIV prevention
  • Implementation science
  • Voluntary medical male circumcision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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