Eastern and southern African countries make progress in Voluntary Male Medical Circumcision


Addis Ababa, 8 December 2011 -- Fourteen eastern and southern African countries have made steady progress in voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC) with more than 1. 2 million males having undergone the procedure as at the middle of 2011.

This indication was given in a presentation made by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday during a special session at the 16th International Conference on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Africa which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 4 to 8 December 2011.

The presentation, made by Dr Emil Asamoah-Odei of the WHO Regional Office for Africa, also indicated that if 80% coverage of 15 to 49 old males is reached by the end of 2015, some 20 million males in the two sub regions will have been circumcised.

He explained that achieving this coverage would mean that  by 2025, about 3.36  million HIV infections would have been averted and net savings of $16.5 billion made due to averted treatment costs.

Dr Asamoah-Odei said there is strong evidence that male circumcision, if provided by well trained health professionals in properly equipped facilities, reduces the risk of female to male HIV transmission by 60%.

VMMC is an important component of a comprehensive HIV prevention package.WHO, UNAIDS and PEPFAR recommend a combination approach to HIV prevention that includes the correct and consistent use of male and female condoms; treatment for sexually transmitted infections; the promotion of safer sexual practices;  HIV testing and counseling;  the provision of antiretroviral therapy for HIV-positive people who are eligible for treatment; and voluntary medical male circumcision in certain settings. 

The 14 eastern and southern African countries making progress in VMMC are: Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

For more information :

Technical contact:

Emil Asamoah-Odei, Programme Manager a.i., Regional HIV/AIDS Programme
Tel: +47 241 39277;
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Media contact:

Samuel Ajibola
Tel: +47 241 39378;
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