In 2015 roughly 36 million people in the world were living with HIV or AIDS, with about 70% of them residing in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) can reduce the risk of HIV infection from women to men by roughly 60% and was therefore recommended by the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS as an effective means to reduce the spread of HIV in SSA.
However, adult male circumcision has proven problematic, mainly because it is essential that the procedure is carried out surgically, in a sterile environment by a trained professional – challenging requirements in remote impoverished areas.
In response to this obstacle, Circ MedTech developed PrePex – the first non-surgical adult male circumcision device. It may look like a set of simple plastic rings, but it has the potential to save millions of lives by removing foreskins cheaply and cleanly. It works by cutting off the blood supply to the area, and the skin drops off. The cost effective device can be used by minimally skilled health workers, and requires topical cream rather than injected anaesthetic.
The procedure does not require a sterile setting nor stitches which means no bleeding, and less chance of infection while healing. Thus circumcision goes back to being a safe way of reducing HIV infection rates. PrePex was proven to be a safe, fast and cost effective device that creates incremental demand for VMMC more than any surgical method or device.
PrePex have already distributed 800,000 globally and have celebrated 200,000 procedures performed by governments and NGOs in Africa and Asia. The Zimbabwean government plans to perform 400,000 circumcisions using the PrePex system in the next four years as part of their plan to circumcise 1.3 million men. The device has also been modified for use on babies and children, and it is now ready for governments around the world to include in their VMMC programs from infancy to adulthood.
Having been acknowledged by Bill Gates and global health stakeholders including Head of UNAIDS, African Ministers of Health and more, PrePex services are currently offered free of charge in Rwanda, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Swaziland, Uganda, Namibia and Indonesia (Papua).
If you want to make a man feel really uncomfortable, talk to him about circumcising his penis:
Claire is London-residing British-South African actress and freelance writer for the Huffington Post and Ideas Tap magazine.
Eddy Horowitz, CEO, Circ MedTech
Israel (Hod Hasharon)