PLOS launches a new collection, Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention: Improving Quality, Efficiency, Cost Effectiveness, and Demand for Services during an Accelerated Scale-up, which focuses on the challenges and opportunities of a large scale public health intervention. Dr. Emmanuel Njeuhmeli and Dr. Rhona MacDonald discuss the implementation and outcomes of the program so far.
Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) – a surgical procedure that involves the complete removal of the foreskin by a trained medical professional – has been shown to be effective in the prevention of HIV transmission.
In 2007, WHO and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV /AIDS recommended that 14 priority countries with high HIV and low male circumcision prevalence in Southern and Eastern Africa consider implementing VMMC as a key intervention in their HIV prevention portfolio.
This massive public health intervention launched in 2009 with support from WHO/UNAIDS calling for 80% coverage of male circumcision by 2016. Although the growth of VMMC programs has dramatically increased over recent years, it appears that the coverage goal will be unattainable by 2016.