Male Circumcision Consortium
EngenderHealth partners with Family Health International and the University of Illinois at Chicago on the Male Circumcision Consortium. The Consortium improves and expands access to voluntary medical circumcision services in Kenya as part of an overall strategy to reduce HIV infections in men.
Male circumcision is gaining recognition as an important practice for limiting the spread of HIV across Sub-Saharan Africa. Several studies have shown that being circumcised dramatically reduces a man’s chances of acquiring HIV during sex with a female partner who has the virus. The challenge now is to transform this clinical knowledge into a public health strategy that can save millions of lives.
Working closely with the Kenyan government, the Consortium focuses on Nyanza Province—which has the country’s highest HIV prevalence and low rates of male circumcision. The experience and knowledge the Consortium gains in Kenya will offer positive lessons for similar programs in other countries.
Given the large number of men who are expected to want circumcision and the shortage of skilled health care professionals, EngenderHealth is developing a national training plan to increase the number of medical staff able to provide safe male circumcision services. EngenderHealth is also conducting research to assess the safety, efficacy, and cost of having nonphysicians (e.g., nurses) provide male circumcision, as well as studying community outreach models.
The Consortium’s activities complement EngenderHealth’s other work in Nyanza to improve male circumcision services, supported by the APHIA-Nyanza project.