Adult Male Circumcision

What is Adult Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention?

Medical male circumcision refers to the surgical removal of some or all the foreskin of the penis by a trained health professional. The research that has been done to date also shows that medical male circumcision reduces men’s risk of HIV infection and genital ulcer disease. It is believed that removing the foreskin with the vulnerable cells and the resulting toughening of the skin covering the penis decreases a man’s risk of acquiring HIV during sexual intercourse.

Medical male circumcision refers to the surgical removal of some or all the foreskin of the penis by a trained health professional. The research that has been done to date also shows that medical male circumcision reduces men’s risk of HIV infection and genital ulcer disease. It is believed that removing the foreskin with the vulnerable cells and the resulting toughening of the skin covering the penis decreases a man’s risk of acquiring HIV during sexual intercourse.

Adult Male Circumcision Investment

Global public-sector and philanthropic investment in R&D and operations research related to adult male circumcision totaled nearly US$42 million in 2012, US$21.7 more than in 2011. Male circumcision is in an implementation phase. WHO recommends full implementation and a target has been set to provide circumcisions for 20 million men in 14 African countries by 2015. Data from Kenya, South Africa and Uganda have already shown that male circumcision reduces the individual risk of HIV infection by 60 percent. Study results released in 2011 by France’s National Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis (ANRS) showed that rollout in the southern and eastern regions of Africa was able to significantly decrease the community level of HIV in high-prevalence areas, and new research in 2012, and early-2013 confirmed the effectiveness of male circumcision in reducing the risk of HIV infection.

Ongoing research in 2012, funded by the NIH at a level of US$4.2 million, focused on the socio-behavioral aspects of adult male circumcision, such as public outreach campaigns for effective implementation of circumcision programs and risk compensation studies, and continuing R&D related to the effect of circumcision on HIV risk.

The largest funder of adult male circumcision implementation research remains the BMGF, which increased its investment from 2011 to 2012 by US$20.3 million—accounting for most of the 2012 investment increase in this area. BMGF grants focused on various circumcision strategies, including PrePex and the Shang Ring, monitoring of scale-up, demand creation and delivery. The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is also investing in research involving nonsurgical devices.

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