Non-Surgical Circumcision Device Offers Promise In AIDS Fight

In short

Israeli company Circ Medtech has developed a circumcision device which is easy to use, non-surgical and can be applied by less well-trained nurses. The simple procedure means circumcision, which is thought to reduce the potential for female-male transmission of HIV, to a far greater population more quickly than the alternatives. The subject has excited delegates at the 19th International AIDS conference in Washington last week.

Background

In an article in the African Mail & Guardian, which can be found here, it is claimed that male circumcision can reduce the potential for female-male HIV transmission by around 60%, yet the cost and bureaucracy required to perform the procedure surgically on the desired population size would be  prohibitive. Circ Medtech, a company based in Israel, has developed a device called Prepex, which is basically a combination of elastic bands and plastic rings, which can be fitted to the appropriate part of the organ and over a short period the lack of blood supply results in the foreskin drying up ready to be painlessly and easily cut away.

The patent pending Prepex device is FDA cleared for marketing in the USA and is certified CE Mark Class IIa device and is currently available for adult men.

Now however it is undergoing prequalification by the World Health Organisation(WHO), following successful completion of which it is likely to gain significant charirable support from such as the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

Expert comments

According to Dr Jason Reed, expert from the US government’s Office of the Global Aids Co-ordinator (the president’s fund headquarters), “Eighty percent of men circumcised by 2015 (WHO’s goal)  translates to 20-million circumcisions. That figure sounds like wishful thinking within health settings where resources are scarce.

“We’re hoping that governments’ sense of the feasibility of so many male circumcisions in such a short time will undergo a manifold change and that policymakers and leaders will put 100% of their weight behind it if they have access to circumcision devices that can complement that surgical process.”

Reed said more men might be willing to be circumcised if they had more options. “Devices won’t solve every problem, but we’re hopeful that they will provide more flexible circumcision options.”

Source: Mail & Guardian