Malawi shifts strategy to boost impact

Malawi’s voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) programme has shifted its focus, guided by modeling results estimating greater impact and potential savings of $US 344 million, Pacific Standard reports. The study recommends emphasizing recruitment of men and boys ages 10 to 34 and prioritizing urban areas, where HIV is almost twice as prevalent, to have the greatest impact on reducing new HIV infections, which would in turn lower HIV treatment costs. In response, the government has set a new goal of circumcising 60 percent of men and boys in that age group in 14 of Malawi’s 28 districts. One million out of 18 million adults is living with HIV in Malawi. However, HIV prevalence has been declining since 1997, in part because of initiatives to scale up access to antiretroviral therapy (Pacific Standard, 8 September 2016).