Article Text

other Versions

Penile Modification in Young Thai Men: Risk Environments, Procedures and Wide Spread Implications for HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections
  1. Nicholas Thomson (nicothommo{at}
  1. Monash University, Australia
    1. Catherine Gayle Sutcliffe (csutclif{at}
    1. Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, United States
      1. Bangorn Sirirojn (bangorn{at}
      1. Chiang Mai University, Thailand
        1. Kamolrawee Sintupat (kamolrawee{at}
        1. Chiang Mai University, Thailand
          1. Apinun Aramrattana (apinun{at}
          1. Chiang Mai University, Thailand
            1. Aaron Samuels (aaron761976{at}
            1. Brown University, United States
              1. David D. Celentano (dcelenta{at}
              1. John Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, United States


                Objectives: To determine the prevalence and types of penile modification and describe the circumstances surrounding this practice among a sample of young methamphetamine users in Thailand.

                Methods: A mixed methods study was conducted in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2005-6. One hundred young men were surveyed for the quantitative study and in-depth interviews were administered to 9 men, 11 women and 1 transgender.

                Results: The prevalence of penile modification was 51%, with the most common type being inlaying with muk(s) (61%). The majority of modifications were performed in prison or juvenile detention (80%) by a friend (90%). Motivations for penile modification included peer pressure and perceived enhanced female sexual pleasure. In prison, the practice was veiled in secrecy, the conditions under which modification was performed were unhygienic, sometimes leading to infection, and sharing equipment was common. Men and women reported that condom use was more difficult post modification as condoms were more likely to break or leak and less likely to fit correctly. In addition, sexual intercourse was often painful for the female partner.

                Conclusion: Penile modification is prevalent in this group of young methamphetamine users and is associated with behaviors and consequences that could facilitate the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

                • HIV
                • STI
                • Thailand
                • methamphetamine
                • penile modification

                Statistics from

                Request permissions

                If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

                Linked Articles

                • Brief encounters
                  Helen Ward Rob Miller