On 16 March, we had the great pleasure of accompanying the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe on a visit to the Nyamata Distict Hospital in the East Province of Rwanda. We went to see a major revolution in the global fight against HIV, showcasing PrePex - a new non-surgical device for circumcision that allows health care providers to perform each procedure in fewer than 3 minutes without anesthesia, without blood and without suture.
Michel Sidibé traveled to the Nyamata District Hospital after visiting His Excellency President Paul Kagame in Uruguiro. According the New Times – a daily journal in Rwanda – Michel Sidibe said, “President Kagame’s leadership and vision demonstrate clearly that we can produce results when you have commitment at the higher levels.” This applies to the fight against HIV and AIDS.
He spoke with the journalists about the research we have done on Prepex to and affirm our goal to perform 2 million male circumcisions using this new technology nationwide which will revolutionize HIV prevention in Rwanda.
The PrePex device includes an elastic band that fits around an inner ring, to trap the foreskin of the penis, in order to stop the blood flow in the foreskin. The dry foreskin is than removed after one week, (See the blog post March). For the first time, this action can be done on a massive scale for men and will support the prevention of HIV infection not only through the procedure, but also through HIV counseling and testing along with condom distribution and use sensitization of men waiting to be circumcised.
Miche Sidibe said how he was impressed and promise to be the champion of the utilization of this innovation that takes less than 3 minutes to perform and reduces the risk of HIV infection by 66%.