Recent research has proven that adult male circumcision reduces the risk of female to male HIV transmission by more than 50%. The World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) recognize male circumcision as an important HIV prevention method.
With funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), EngenderHealth is collaborating with the Kenyan Ministry of Health and other partners to improve and expand voluntary adult male circumcision services in Nyanza, the Kenyan province with the highest number of people living with HIV and the lowest male circumcision rate. Our activities there include:
- Training health workers to provide safe and high-quality circumcision services in hygienic settings and under conditions of informed consent and confidentiality
- Strengthening health systems and making sure equipment and supplies are readily available
- Offering male circumcision in conjunction with HIV testing and counseling and risk reduction counseling
- Raising awareness of male circumcision in a culturally sensitive manner by distributing educational information and condoms.
In Tanzania, EngenderHealth is implementing a pilot project in the Mwanza region that will inform the government’s plans to expand male circumcision services throughout the country. Our work there includes:
- Assessing attitudes of health workers and community members toward HIV and male circumcision
- Addressing the clinical, operational, and structural needs of the regional hospital
- Training key medical staff at the regional hospital to provide safe, quality male circumcision services
- Assisting the hospital to conduct quality monitoring and evaluation of circumcision services.
EngenderHealth is also co-leading several studies on the safety and efficacy of the Shang Ring, a novel device that has the potential to revolutionize male circumcision services in Africa, thereby reducing the spread of HIV. Our partners on these efforts include Weill Cornell Medical College and Family Health International. The most recent research indicates that “the Shang Ring has an excellent safety profile and that Shang Ring circumcision is relatively easy to teach and learn”.