Advancing Male Circumcision to Prevent HIV in Kenya
EngenderHealth is pleased to announce that it is partnering with Family Health International and the University of Illinois at Chicago on the Male Circumcision Consortium, which launched November 24 in Kenya. The Consortium will improve and expand 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 will focus 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.
“Expanding male circumcision services is a great opportunity to engage men to take greater responsibility for HIV prevention. Reaching a population that does not usually access health services, we can maximize chances to educate men about behavior change and the importance of shared sexual decision-making, which would improve health outcomes for both men and women.”
—Feddis Mumba, Country Director, EngenderHealth-Kenya, and Project Director, EngenderHealth–Male Circumcision Consortium
Given the large number of men who are expected to want circumcision and the shortage of skilled health care professionals, EngenderHealth will develop a national training plan to increase the number of medical staff able to provide safe male circumcision services. EngenderHealth will also conduct research to assess the safety, efficacy, and cost of having nonphysicians (e.g., nurses) provide male circumcision, as well as study community outreach models.
The Consortium’s activities complement EngenderHealth’s other work in Nyanza to improve male circumcision services, supported by the APHIA II project.
Read more about the Male Circumcision Consortium.