Voluntary medical male circumcision in resource-constrained settings

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| Throughout East and Southern Africa, the WHO recommends voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) to reduce heterosexual HIV acquisition. Evidence has informed policy and the implementation of VMMC programmes in these countries. VMMC has been incorporated into the HIV prevention portfolio and more than 9 million VMMCs have been performed. Conventional surgical procedures consist of forceps-guided, dorsal slit or sleeve resection techniques. Devices are also becoming available that might help to accelerate the scale-up of adult VMMC. The ideal device should make VMMC easier, safer, faster, sutureless, inexpensive, less painful, require less infrastructure, be more acceptable to patients and should not require follow-up visits. Elastic collar compression devices cause vascular obstruction and necrosis of foreskin tissue and do not require sutures or injectable anaesthesia. Collar clamp devices compress the proximal part of the foreskin to reach haemostasis; the distal foreskin is removed, but the device remains and therefore no sutures are required. Newer techniques and designs, such as tissue adhesives and a circular cutter with stapled anastomosis, are improvements, but none of these methods have achieved all desirable characteristics. Further research, design and development are needed to address this gap to enable the expansion of the already successful VMMC programmes for HIV prevention.

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