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Use Of Rapid Male Circumcision Tool Will Help Africa Reach HIV Prevention Goals

In order for Rwanda to reach its HIV prevention goals, the country “need[s] to reach two million men in two years to benefit from the protective effect of [voluntary medical male circumcision] in order to achieve this as part of a comprehensive, combination HIV prevention strategy,” Agnes Binagwahois, Rwanda’s minister of health, writes in a Washington Post opinion piece. However, “the only method widely approved for funding is the surgical method, which is expensive and impractical for countries lacking physicians and surgical infrastructure,” and it would take more than 12 years to reach the country’s goal, she says.

However, “[w]e have clinically studied and approved PrePex, [a] non-surgical device for voluntary adult male circumcision that requires no injected anesthesia,” can be administered by a trained community health worker in less than five minutes, and was safer than traditional methods in clinical studies, Binagwahois writes. “Such simple solutions can be game-changers in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” she continues, adding, “It is time to reinvent the vocabulary for what is possible, and I propose to start talking about RMC, Rapid Male Circumcision, because the device we studied can revolutionize our prevention toolkit in Africa.” She concludes, “RMC is not a silver bullet but an extremely powerful tool when promoted in combination with other proven prevention strategies” (12/12).