Background: Swaziland''s HIV prevalence remains the world''s highest at 26%. However, Swazi men often report fear and suspicion towards VMMC, mostly caused by solely biomedical approaches. In response, KI''s innovative project, Lihawu Male Mentoring Camp (LMMC), offers 15-29 year old men a comprehensive package of adolescent male mentoring and health services, sensitization and interventions, with the following objectives:

Methods: LMMC is a three-day residential camp of activities aimed at age pivot adolescents, combining behaviour change tenants of traditional Bantu initiation rites of passage with clinical best practice in VMMC.
Activities include challenges, games and cultural observances as well as sensitization on masculinity and gender awareness, goal setting, HIV and male health issues and services.
At the end of the camp, participants are offered a comprehensive package of male health services including HTC and VMMC.
Results: Increased VMMC (86%) and HTC (87%) uptake amongst pivot-age clients (national av. 19%) exposing them to a package of interventions and life skills marking a transition from childhood to adulthood. Pre and post camp surveys show a dramatic increase in gender equitable beliefs and acceptance of gender deviance, as well as increases in post-circumcision care and conduct, and in condom usage and efficacy knowledge.

Health service HIV status knowledge on entry HIV status knowledge on exit
HTC 93/352 (26%)307/352 (87%)
 # of clinically eligible clients # of Circumcisions performed
VMMC 318/352275/318 (86%)
[Increases of VMMC and HTC]

Changes In Beliefs
[Changes In Beliefs]

Conclusions: Contrary to common beliefs, traditional approaches may be utilized as effective methods to sensitize men on positive masculinity, SRH issues, and the benefits of VMMC, as well as dramatically increase uptake in prevention services.

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