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Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision A ‘Critical Pillar’ In Fight Against HIV/AIDS

In “the 12th blog in a series of blogs from the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator in recognition of the 10th anniversary of PEPFAR,” Ambassador Eric Goosby, head of the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Health Diplomacy and the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, writes in the Huffington Post’s “The Big Push” blog, “When it comes to HIV/AIDS, men have an extraordinary opportunity to reduce their risk of HIV infection by almost 60 percent by undergoing voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC).” He continues, “This one-time health intervention has the potential to save millions of lives and billions of dollars in HIV/AIDS treatment costs,” noting, “Modeling studies predict that the benefits of male circumcision are likely to be most significant in populations with high prevalence of primarily heterosexually driven HIV and low rates of male circumcision.”

“PEPFAR supports male circumcision activities in 14 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa that fit these criteria and is working side-by-side with countries and other partners to plan and implement programs safely and efficiently,” Goosby continues. “On May 31, 2013, PrePex™ became the first adult medical male circumcision device to receive WHO prequalification as an alternative to conventional surgical circumcision,” he notes, writing, “Although PEPFAR will continue to implement surgical circumcision programs, we look forward to helping African ministries of health assess the acceptability and safety of PrePex™ in their local public health contexts.” He concludes, “All people must seize every opportunity to protect themselves and their communities from HIV/AIDS. VMMC is one critical pillar in this fight” (6/4).