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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

Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) is a proven HIV prevention tool. Despite its health benefits, many young Malawian men who are willing to be circumcised are choosing to do so as part of a traditional ceremony. Understanding why this is could hold the key to improving VMMC uptake.

November 26, 2021

Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) is becoming more popular as an important HIV prevention strategy. Malawi, with a high HIV and AIDS prevalence rate of 8.8 percent and a low male circumcision prevalence rate of 28 percent in 2016, is one of the priority countries recommended for VMMC scale-up. This paper investigates the attitudes and key challenges to VMMC adoption in a traditionally circumcising community in Malawi where male circumcision is culturally significant.

October 28, 2021
BMC Public Health

VMMC programme data from most of the priority countries were successfully reviewed, updated, validated and incorporated into the annual HIV Estimates process in 2020. It is important to ensure that these data continue to be used for programme planning and management. Current and future data issues will need to be addressed, and countries will need ongoing support to do so. The integration of the DMPPT2 Online into the annual HIV Estimates process is a positive step forward in terms of streamlining country-owned planning and analytical practices for the HIV response.

September 21, 2021
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