Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rwanda Leads Breakthrough Innovation in HIV Prevention: Male circumcision with no anesthesia, no sutures, no blood and no sterile settings requirement.

Tuesday, March 8, 2001

I had the fantastic opportunity to participate in the Government of Rwanda sponsored study to test the PrePex System, a new device and methododology for rapid adult male circumcision deployment in resource-limited settings.

The study, in line with the World Health Organization’s and UNAIDS’s recommendations to encourage voluntary male circumcision, began in March 2010 and proved the safety and efficacy of the device.
Many studies have proven that circumcised men in high risk areas, including sub-Saharan Africa, reduce their risk of HIV infection by about 60%.

The existing surgical techniques and devices require time of highly trained health professionals, surgical settings and and out of work time for patients to recover. This limits the ability of many African countries to scale up male circumcision initiatives given the regional shortage of health professionals and medical infrastructure and the economic impact of the patient time to recover.

Because we have the conviction that all need to be done to protect our population in the context of the fight against HIV, the Ministry of Health in Rwanda has the national goal to decrease its HIV incidence rate by 50% by circumcising two million adults in two years but so far Current male circumcision efforts have been a drop in the ocean compared to the masses required.

That is why the Ministry of Health of Rwanda, in partnership with the PrePex Compagny a social private entreprise, undertake researches on viable non-surgical male circumcision method. In that context the Government of Rwanda sponsored second clinical study (N°:NCT01284088 on which is showing very promising preliminary results on the cost effectiveness of the use of this new device for HIV prevention, as well as reaffirming our knowledge of the safety and efficacy.

Except for a few hours on the day of deployment, patients circumcised with the PrePex device required no additional recovery days for pain or wound management. This has major economic ramifications for a country like ours, where rural men work their fields and cannot afford to lose so many days of work for a preventative procedure.

The UN press agency wrote about this great development - click here to see the story.