More than two million men and youth across sub-Saharan Africa have reduced their lifetime risk of HIV infection by accessing voluntary medical male circumcision, VMMC, services. This milestone—including more than one million procedures performed in the last two years alone—represents more than 15 percent of the 11.7 million VMMCs the World Health Organization estimates have been performed worldwide since 2008.
The effort has been supported by Jhpiego, a nonprofit global health affiliate of the Johns Hopkins University that has worked with the governments of East and Southern African countries since 2008 to implement VMMC as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention strategy aimed at interrupting the transmission of HIV to save lives. Studies have shown that VMMC reduces female-to-male HIV transmission by approximately 70 percent.
"Over the past three decades, the world has made incredible progress in its efforts to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS. Jhpiego is proud to have played a part in that progress, particularly through our support of two million VMMCs across sub-Saharan Africa," said Leslie Mancuso, CEO and president of Jhpiego. "With the strong leadership and partnership of local governments and providers, and the support of the U.S. government, we look forward to accelerating the pace of change to create an AIDS-free generation."
Jhpiego's work to provide two million safe, high-quality VMMC procedures in 12 countries has been funded by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program.
New mathematical modeling suggests Jhpiego's results alone could avert more than 50,000 HIV infections through 2025.
In cooperation with the countries' ministries of health and defense, and in partnership with WHO, Jhpiego has been instrumental in preventing the spread of HIV on global and national levels. For example, Jhpiego has helped shape the clinical standards for quality VMMC implementation and co-written the WHO reference manual that serves as the definitive clinical resource for all VMMC programs. On a national level, Jhpiego has worked with countries to train thousands of health workers to provide safe, high-quality procedures and developed protocols for quality assurance and improvement in VMMC programs.