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Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision

A simple approach with life-long benefits could prevent millions of HIV infections. It’s time to realize that potential.

Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) is one of the most powerful and cost-effective HIV prevention tools at hand. Studies from 2006 showed that it reduces a man’s risk of acquiring HIV from a female partner by up to 60 percent, increasing to around 75 percent over time.

VMMC is being rolled out for HIV prevention in 14 sub-Saharan African countries with high HIV prevalence and low levels of adult male circumcision. The goal: achieve 80 percent coverage among men in these countries in order to avert 3.4 million new HIV infections and save US$16.6 billion in future healthcare costs. After years of slow progress, scale-up of VMMC is accelerating. Sustained investment and close monitoring are needed to keep things on track.

Newly available non-surgical circumcision devices could also play a role, offering an alternative to sutures and surgery that some men may prefer. Countries need to decide if and how to introduce devices, while making plans, budgets and communications campaigns to keep scale-up on track. AVAC and others are advocating for action to make sure these steps happen.

What We're Reading

No significant relationship was found between process quality and management practices across 108 VMMC facilities. This study is the first to analyze the potential relationships between management and service quality and efficiency among a sample of VMMC health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa and can potentially inform policy-relevant hypotheses to later test through prospective experimental studies.

October 3, 2019
PLoS One

ShangRing circumcision is effective and safe in the Kenyan context but its uptake varies widely in different settings. It should be rolled out under programmatic implementation for eligible males to take advantage of its unique benefits and the freedom of choice beyond conventional surgical MMC. Public education on its availability and unique advantages is necessary to optimize its uptake and to actualize the benefit of its inclusion in VMMC programs.

September 26, 2019
PLoS One
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