Jennifer Downs of Weill Cornell Medical College in the U.S. will use the influence of the church to encourage more male circumcision in order to reduce HIV incidence in Tanzania. Male circumcision can inhibit HIV infection, but it is uncommon, particularly amongst non-Muslim communities in African nations due to negative religious and social perceptions. They will train male and female church leaders to educate their congregations on the medical, historical, religious, tribal, and social aspects of male circumcision, and explore ways that they can integrate these teachings into the church. They will compare circumcision rates before and after this intervention, and use matched villages receiving no church-associated training as controls. Their approach could be expanded to neighboring countries.
More information about Inciting Healthy Behaviors: Nudge, Disrupt, Leapfrog, Reach (Round 12)