December 6, 2011
UNAIDS and PEPFAR on Monday at the 16th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in Africa (ICASA) "launched a five-year action framework to accelerate the scale-up of voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) for HIV prevention," according to a UNAIDS press release. "The framework -- developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNAIDS, PEFPAR, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank in consultation with national Ministries of Health -- calls for the immediate roll-out and expansion of VMMC services in 14 priority countries of eastern and southern Africa," the release notes (12/5).
VMMC "has been found to reduce the risk of sexual transmission of HIV from women to men by about 60 percent when carried out by well-trained health professionals," the U.N. News Centre notes (12/5). "Leaders of the global fight against AIDS say male circumcision is among the most overlooked keys to reducing the incidence of sexually transmitted infections," VOA News writes (Heinlein, 12/5). "According to [UNAIDS Executive Director Michel] Sidibe, recent modeling commissioned by PEPFAR and UNAIDS found that reaching 80 percent coverage of adult VMMC in the 14 priority countries would entail performing approximately 20 million circumcisions on men aged 15-49 by the year 2015," Nigeria's Leadership notes (Ogbebo, 12/6).