June 12, 2013
The World Health Organization has approved the PrePex circumcision device, a new nonsurgical method of male circumcision that uses an elastic band. The technique did not involve general anesthesia and was believed to be safer than surgery. The New York Times reported that nurses could insert the disposable device in approximately four minutes. The device did not require sterile conditions, was inexpensive compared to surgery, and was easy to ship and store. The manufacturer claimed the technique involved no needles or blood loss, and the patient could return to his daily routine immediately. The procedure did not require stitches or sutures. Expectations were that PrePex would slow the spread of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, because circumcised males were approximately 60 percent less likely to become infected.