While male circumcision remains a highly controversial issue for some, research has shown that it is very effective in limiting the spread of AIDS and other venereal diseases. And since the use of condoms, regular testing, and vigilance have been effective at curbing the spread of AIDS in the developed world, some places have neither the resources nor the culture necessary to change the rate at which the disease spreads. Traditional surgical circumcisions are bloody and can lead to substantial pain, but a novel device now offers a new way of removing the foreskin without blood or even surgery to frighten the already nervous patient.
PrePex from Israel’s Circ MedTech consists of a couple plastic parts and a rubber band, and essentially cuts off the flow of blood to the foreskin, causing the tissue to die and fall off. It’s cheap, easy enough for a couple of nurses to apply, and doesn’t require sedation. Moreover, sterility is not necessary since the PrePex is just a clip-on that doesn’t penetrate the skin. A topical analgesic is used to deal with any pain while a week passes for the foreskin to atrophy. Last week the World Health Organization approved the PrePex as the first non-surgical option for adult circumcision.
Product page: PrePex device…
Rwanda study of the device: Safety and Efficacy of the PrePex Device for Rapid Scale-up of Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention in Resource-limited Settings
(hat tip: NYT)