US launches circumcision drive

18 November 2019 | Health

US Ambassador Lisa Johnson launched the new PEPFAR-funded voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) program “SAFE VMMC” in Namibia.
The up to five-year, US$33.5 million program is led by USAID and the health ministry. Through the VMMC program, implementer Abt Associates expands voluntary medical male circumcision services to reach Namibian men across 11 regions.
“Circumcised men have a 60% lower risk of contracting HIV in comparison to non-circumcised men,” Johnson said regarding the importance of this intervention for Namibia’s fight against HIV/AIDS, adding that voluntary circumcision is one of many ways to protect against HIV with “others including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and the use of condoms. Circumcision does not substitute for a condom, which still provides the best protection in every respect.”
Namibia is nearing HIV epidemic control as per the UNAIDS 95-95-95 goals: It is estimated that currently 94% of all HIV positive Namibians know their status, 96% of those who know they are positive are on antiretroviral treatment, and of those on treatment, 95% have reduced the viral load in their blood to an undetectable level, which means it is impossible for them to transmit the virus.

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