A New Technology to Support HIV Prevention
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Trymore Chikwiriro is 29 years old, and his wife gave birth to their first child just this past October. Just like they expected, all of their nights were focused on their new baby– so the time seemed right for Trymore to undergo voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC).
The World Health Organization and UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, began recommending VMMC as an HIV prevention strategy in 2007. Studies in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa showed that medical male circumcision reduces the risk of sexual transmission of HIV from women to men by approximately 60 percent. In 13 priority countries in southern and eastern Africa, nearly six million men — including one million served by the PSI network alone — have since undergone VMMC.
Besides HIV prevention, VMMC offers other benefits for men and even women, especially married couples like Trymore and his wife. “Personal hygiene, reducing the risk of penile cancer for me, and reducing the risk of cervical cancer for my wife,” said Trymore as he recalled the most important benefits he discussed with his wife. The couple had first heard about VMMC more than a year ago, but Trymore was concerned about the operation and having to take time from work post surgery.
But then they learned about a plastic device called PrePex, one of the VMMC devices currently under review for WHO approval. These new technologies could help countries keep momentum going around VMMC efforts.
- Health Care