Start HIV Prevention Early with Early Infant Male Circumcision
There is an age old story about a man walking along a river who sees someone being pulled along by the current and calling for help. As he reaches for a vine to toss to the person, he sees more people coming downstream. As he continues to try to rescue those struggling in the river, he asks a friend to go upstream and see what he can do to prevent people from falling in.
Since voluntary medical male circumcision (MC) has been proven to reduce female to male HIV transmission by approximately 60% or more, the world of HIV prevention is driving major national level campaigns to deliver MC to adolescents and adults. Studies show that this short term ‘downstream’ approach is essential to avert many future infections and reduce the overall prevalence of the disease.
However, in the long term, the attention will shift ‘up stream’ with programs in early infant male circumcision. Jhpiego is preparing for that future now. Dr. Tigistu Adamu, HIV/AIDS Technical Advisor for Jhpiego, helped produce the global learning resources package for early infant male circumcision with the World Health Organization (WHO). The package includes dynamic audio-visual materials, inexpensive anatomic models, and training manuals for the trainer and participant.
Early infant male circumcision is cheaper, easier, and less risky than adolescent and adult MC. Infant patients heal faster, have even lower rate of complications than the already low rate in adults, and avoid the adult risks associated with sexual activity before healing. Programs for early infant male circumcision cost less because there is little need for post-procedure counseling, devices are more affordable and accessible, and programs can be integrated with existing maternal health services.
Tonight, Dr. Adamu will share more about this intervention as he joins four other impressive speakers from UNAIDS, WHO and the Kenyan Ministry of Health at a satellite session during the IAS conference in Rome. (More at http://www.jhpiego.org/en/content/events.)