Removal of the foreskin is only one element of a comprehensive SMC Programme. PEPFAR and other donors have a ‘minimum package’ of services that programme implementers must provide.
This starts with community engagement and mobilisation during which we have a great opportunity to reach men with a broad public health message, whilst of course focussing on many aspects of reproductive health. Men are very often not present at other ‘outreaches’ that may be more focussed on water and sanitation, malaria or family planning and child health.
Men registering for circumcision are first offered voluntary HIV counselling and testing. Knowing your status is essential and for many of these men this may be the first time they have been tested. Those who test positive are enrolled onto treatment programmes.
The men have a chance to learn more about how to avoid HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. They are offered STI screening and provided with any necessary treatment and care.
Men are informed about the correct and consistent use of condoms and why this is such an important part of prevention both before and after circumcision.
All of these services are provided free of charge.
- VMMC – An HIV Prevention Priority for PEPFAR (suubitrust.org.uk)