August 27, 2013, Updated August 28, 2013

Fourteen African nations with high rates of new HIV infections are hoping an Israeli medical device for non-surgical voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) can curb the epidemic and save lives. The World Health Organization (WHO) has prequalified the PrePax method as part of its widespread HIV prevention programs on the continent.

PrePex is the only adult circumcision method, other than conventional surgery, to gain WHO accreditation. The method requires no sutures, no injected anesthesia and sees no blood. Moreover, PrePex can be used by both trained physicians and mid-level providers, such as nurses.

The global health organization says its goal is to circumcise 20 million men in Africa by 2015.

In 2007, WHO and UNAIDS proved that circumcised men reduce their risk of HIV Infection by approximately 60 percent in high risk areas.

The Herzliya-based Circ MedTech team developed the patent pending PrePex device to achieve safe and cost effective non-surgical adult male circumcision programs. The device adheres to international standards set by the US, the EU, the World Health Organization, African government officials, physicians and public health officials worldwide.

Circ MedTech is a social enterprise that aims to positively contribute to the global fight against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.

“WHO prequalification of the PrePex device is most exciting and very welcome. Policy makers, health care providers, donors and civil society must now work together to find the best ways to add non-surgical devices to broader circumcision programs so that we can reach more men with VMMC – with a method that is relatively simple and convenient. I know, because I myself have been circumcised with the PrePex device. So when I add my voice to the PrePex conversations, it is from the perspective of the personal experience of a satisfied client,” Dr. Mannasseh Phiri, a leading VMMC and HIV/AIDS activist in Zambia, told Africa Science News.

“Circumcision, like HIV, is often difficult for us to discuss openly. And in many of our communities, medical circumcision of adult men is a relatively new concept that now exists alongside traditional circumcisions of young boys,” said Phiri. “We must continue to speak out about the great benefits of medical male circumcision for men and for women in our communities. We must encourage more and more men of all ages to come forward and get circumcised.”

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Jason Harris

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