Main | Wednesday, December 04, 2013

RWANDA: Gov't Pushes "Surgeon-Free" Male Circumcision For HIV Prevention

Rwanda's Ministry of Health is promoting a male circumcision device that does not require a doctor as part of its HIV prevention program. A nation of 11.5 million, Rwanda has fewer than 600 doctors.
A device called a PrePex was recently cleared for use. It will enable up to 700,000 men between the ages of 15 and 49 to be circumcised across the country. The device could revolutionize the way traditional circumcisions are perceived and performed. It will also save lives. Six years ago, the World Health Organization and UNAIDS set a goal to have 20 million adult men voluntarily circumcised by the year 2015. It was part of an effort to reduce heterosexually acquired HIV/AIDS. The goal was based on clinical research that showed that an estimated 3.5 million lives would be saved, along with a savings of $16.5 million in long-term healthcare costs. To reach the target, a scaling-up process was needed.
The procedure is described as similar to removing the umbilical cord from an infant.
“If you recall, you clamped the umbilical cord and you stopped the flow of blood and oxygen to the unwanted tissue. So, that’s exactly what we’re doing to the unwanted foreskin tissue. So by applying radial elastic pressure, for a very special elastic ring, on top of a rigid inner-ring that goes under the foreskin, we’re essentially stopping the flow of blood and circulation to the unwanted foreskin tissue.” The tissue dies within a few hours and in a week it dries up. She said it can be removed like you’re going to cut your finger nails.
The device is worn for six to seven days before the foreskin can be removed. (Tipped by JMG reader Kevin)

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