PEPFAR data details progress

The US President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) supported the voluntary medical male circumcisions (VMMCs) of more than 15 million men and boys in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa from 2007 to 2017, Aidsmap reports. The article, which summarises a paper published in BMJ Open, also cites a World Health Organization estimate that the 15,269,720 PEPFAR-supported VMMCs represent 84 percent of all the VMMCs performed in the 14 countries. The programme originally prioritised men and teenage boys ages 15 to 29, but in 2017, 48 percent of VMMC clients were ages 15 to 29 and almost as many — 45 percent — were ages 10 to 14. The authors of the BMJ Open article conclude that although the VMMC programme has achieved rapid scale-up, new approaches may be needed to meet the UNAIDS goal for 2020, which is reaching an additional 25 million men and boys (Aidsmap, 26 September 2018).