Tactical tools

Advocates must have access to the best available tools in order to influence a desired change in values, attitudes, behaviours, or even policies and programming on voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) for HIV prevention. The tactical resources on this page are tools that advocates and other stakeholders can use in their daily work to execute a task or address a specific issue that may lead to realisation of a desired change. These resources range from "how to" videos and documents that provide step-by-step guidance on addressing a specific issue, to update briefs with the latest information on progress, to calls to action on specific issues affecting VMMC scale-up. Please contact AVAC or the Clearinghouse if you have a tactical resource to share.

  • VMMC at IAS 2015: Cause for Celebration and Concern. Tremendous progress has been made in scaling up voluntary medical male circumcision, notes a blog from AVAC. But to sustain this momentum, VMMC needs to be specifically identified — in rhetoric, funding and programmes — as central to bringing epidemic levels of new HIV infections to an end.

  • VMMC Device Developments: PrePex Price Drops and ShangRing Gets WHO Green Light. A drop in the price of the PrePex device for priority countries in Africa and the World Health Organization's prequalification of a second device for performing voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) are promising developments. However, this good news comes as VMMC programmes face unexpected challenges, an AVAC blog reports. Though the pace of VMMC scale-up has doubled every year since 2011, exceeding targets and reaching more than 9 million circumcisions, funding commitments have begun to decline.

  • HIV Shedding from Male Circumcision Wounds in HIV-Positive Men: A Prospective Cohort Study. This paper describes a study of men living with HIV who underwent medical male circumcision between 2009 and 2012. Penile viral shedding (HIV in the tissues and secretions of the penis) was measured weekly through six weeks after surgery, and at 12 weeks. Shedding increased at two weeks post-circumcision but was reduced after wound healing to levels below pre-surgery. The paper also found that patients on anitretroviral therapy (ART) had had significantly reduced shedding. Therefore, the authors point out, effective ART could help reduce the risk of male-to-female transmission after VMMC. Advocates should push for linking VMMC and ARV programmes and research to determine the best time to begin ART for HIV-positive men who wish to become circumcised.

  • Intervention Update: Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision, an excerpt from AVAC’s 2014/15 Prevention on the Line report, highlights progress and successes and identifies gaps and opportunities in VMMC scale-up. It can be a useful tool for advocates, giving them a quick snapshot on where the field is in the rollout of VMMC for HIV prevention and ideas on specific “asks” that can help fill existing gaps in order to accelerate VMMC scale-up.

  • Scale-Up of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention in Africa gives an in-depth update on progress in VMMC rollout as of July 2014. It underscores the feasibility of VMMC and highlights major challenges, including maintaining momentum and funding gaps.

  • Separating Fact from Fiction is a tool that can be used by advocates facing misinformation and resistance to scale-up of VMMC for HIV prevention. It highlights and addresses the most common myths, criticisms, and misconceptions about VMMC.

  • Writing a Persuasive Op-ed and Tips for Writing a Letter to the Editor – Op-eds and letters to the editor are some effective ways for advocates to express their views in the media in order to influence change. These tools give offer tips on how to write a compelling op-ed or letter to the editor.


After five consecutive years of declining investment in research and development (R&D) for HIV prevention options, annual funding increased in 2018 by a modest 1.2 percent, or US$ 13 million, according to the latest report from the Resource Tracking for HIV Prevention Research and Development

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Research on creating demand for voluntary medical male circumcision has generated insights that have helped improve uptake in some areas and sustain programmes in others where coverage had reached saturation level, according to AVAC’s annual report, No Prevention, No End.

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WHO Progress Brief on Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention in 14 Priority Countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, July 2017 - thumbnail

A progress brief from the World Health Organization reports that nearly 15 million men and boys were circumcised from 2008 to 2016 by VMMC programmes in 14 priority countries in eastern and southern Africa.

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UNAIDS, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and partners have launched a road map for reducing new HIV infections by 75 percent by 2020, promoting greater investment and engagement in HIV primary prevention.

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Op-Eds Let You Tell Your Story Your Way

AVAC offers guidance on writing a clear, concise, and persuasive op-ed for a newspaper or other media outlet to influence change on an issue related to HIV prevention.

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When and How to Write a Letter to the Editor

Offering a dozen tips, this tool provides guidance on writing a letter to the editor of a newspaper to correct misinformation, endorse an argument, or provide a different perspective on an issue related to HIV prevention.

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CCC Post 2015 SDG Analysis

VMMC is among the 19 most cost-effective interventions to achieve sustainable development targets, as illustrated in this infographic.

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Separating Fact from Fiction

This document provides evidence-based rebuttals to common myths and misconceptions about voluntary medical male circumcision.

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Call to Action Report Press Release

African and US AIDS advocates issued a press release to announce a new report calling for rapid scale-up of voluntary medical male circumcision.

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A Call to Action on VMMC

A report from AVAC and partners calls on countries, donors, and communities to redouble their efforts and apply lessons learned to achieve the goal of 80 percent male circumcision coverage for HIV prevention.

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