HIV has taken the lives of 25 million people at a rate of 2 million per year, with 2/3 of these deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2007, the World Health Organization and UNAIDS cited that voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) can reduce the risk of HIV infection by approximately 60% in high risk areas such as Sub Saharan Africa. The “ABCs” – Abstinence, Be Faithful and Condoms are crucial elements, but are not enough. The much anticipated HIV vaccines have been under development for nearly 20 years but are nowhere near market readiness.
The US Government (USAID) underscores the impact of male circumcision if conducted rapidly in target countries. However, surgical male circumcision requires highly trained medical professionals and sterile surgery-type settings. While genuine attempts have been made by target countries to scale up surgery in the past years, the procedure is not geared for the volume required in Africa, especially in rural and resource limited areas.
In December 2011, UNAIDS, in partnership with the US Government (PEPFAR) World Health Organization, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank launched an accelerated action plan to reach 20M VMMC by 2015. Achieving this goal will save nearly 3.4M lives and 16.5 Billion USD in long term healthcare costs. View press release.
The PrePex device (learn more) offers a safe, simple and scalable solution for scale up of adult male circumcision in resource limited settings for HIV prevention.