This week, Science Speaks, the blog of the Center for Global Health Policy, will feature a series of interviews with key players in the scale-up of medical male circumcision (MC) in several sub-Saharan African countries. In order to reduce HIV prevalence in high-burden countries with low rates of MC and a predominantly heterosexual epidemic, countries are launching accelerated saturation initiatives (ASI), which attempt to circumcise a large proportion of the male population in a short amount of time.
Medical MC provides up to 60 percent protection from HIV acquisition during vaginal sex, and mathematical modeling predicts that population-level initiatives such as these can reduce prevalence dramatically over time, with impact directly proportional to implementation pace and scale. The Center recently issued an issue brief (click here to download) discussing best practices, highlighting some of the recent successes in enhancing access to MC, and supporting the expansion of these services.
The blog series will feature updates and commentary from implementers on the ground, including those involved with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program, with an important update on the ambitious one-year ASI program in Swaziland, which aims to circumcise 80 percent of males ages 18 to 49 by the end of 2011. The series starts Feb. 28, so be sure to stay tuned to ScienceSpeaksBlog.org.
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