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Male circumcision in Slovenia: results from a national probability sample survey
  1. I Klavs1,
  2. F F Hamers2
  1. 1
    AIDS/STI/HAI Unit, Communicable Diseases Centre, Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  2. 2
    Scientific Advice Unit, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Stockholm, Sweden
  1. Dr I Klavs, AIDS/STI/HAI Unit, Communicable Diseases Centre, Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia, Trubarjeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia; Irena.Klavs{at}ivz-rs.si

Abstract

Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of male circumcision and to explore its association with demographic characteristics and self-reported sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnosis in Slovenia.

Methods: Data were collected over 1999–2001 from a national probability sample of the general population aged 18–49 years at respondents’ homes by a combination of face-to-face interviews and anonymous self-administration of questionnaires. Statistical methods for complex survey data were used to account for stratification, clustered sampling and weighting.

Results: Overall, 4.5% (95% CI 3.2 to 6.5) of Slovenian male citizens reported being circumcised. Major variations in the prevalence of circumcision were observed across religious groups, with 92.4% (95% CI 59.8 to 99.0) of Muslims being circumcised, 1.7% (95% CI 0.9 to 3.1) of Roman Catholics, 0% of other religious affiliations (Evangelic, Serbian Orthodox, other), and 7.1% (95% CI 4.4 to 11.2) of those with no religious affiliation (p<0.001). The prevalence of circumcision did not vary across age groups. There were no significant differences in the proportion of circumcised and uncircumcised Slovenian men reporting ever being diagnosed with bacterial STI or viral STI.

Conclusions: The prevalence of circumcision among Slovenian men is low. No evidence was found for an association between STI diagnosis and circumcision status, which may be due to the low prevalence of both STI and circumcision in this population as well as a small sample size. In Slovenia, where HIV prevalence is <1/1000 citizens and HIV infection is concentrated in men who have sex with men, promoting male circumcision in the general population may not be effective for HIV prevention purposes.

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Footnotes

  • Funding: In addition to internal funding, the study was supported by grants from the Slovenian Ministry of Health, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, City Council of Ljubljana, Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia, Merc & Dohme Idea Inc, Roche Diagnostics, Krka and Lek.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: Ethics approval was obtained from the medical ethics committee at the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia and the ethics committee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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