TAC supports voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) because of the clear evidence that it reduces a heterosexual man’s risk of contracting HIV. TAC’s previous briefings on VMMC explain this evidence in detail and remain largely correct. This briefing highlights the evidence that has emerged from follow up trials.
- The evidence that voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) reduces the risk of HIV infection in heterosexual men is clear. Therefore the Department of Health must set ambitious targets for the roll-out of circumcision in the new National Strategic Plan.
- The roll-out of circumcision must be respectful of human rights and consistent with the South African Constitution. Circumcision must be voluntary and only carried out with informed consent.
- Government must ensure that legislation allows infants to be circumcised with parental consent.
- Guidelines and policies for VMMC must be finalised and widely circulated.
- VMMC targets must be properly costed and budgeted for, and expenditure must be monitored.
- Traditional circumcision that is funded through the national HIV budget must be safe and provide the same level of protection as medical circumcision. It must also provide the same package of services, including counselling, education, HIV testing and condom distribution.
- Government should halt the use of any devices that have not been approved by the World Health Organisation including the Tara KLamp and the AlisKlamp. The suspicious procurement of the Tara KLamp by the KwaZulu-Natal government must be investigated.
- We are concerned about the quality of informed consent at mass circumcision camps. We believe these camps should be halted. VMMC must be carried out methodically and properly without shortcuts to boost numbers.
- Systems for reviewing VMMC sites should be established. These reviews must be carried out by an independent team and all sites providing VMMC should receive visits twice annually.