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HIV Prevention in Rwanda

In 2008, professionals from the BCCDC travelled to Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda to investigate the possibility of starting a male circumcision program in Rwanda.
​An assessment of the possibility of introducing male circumcision in Gambella, Ethiopia was conducted. 

The visit to Kisumu, Kenya helped the BCCDC doctors learn more about established efforts at male circumcision. 

In Rwanda, local doctors and the BCCDC visitors held a five-day brainstorming session. The aim of this session was to exchange skills and experiences on safe male circumcision.

  • Male circumcision has been shown to reduce female-to-male human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission by more than 50 per cent
  • Millions of lives could be saved in Africa if male circumcision becomes safe and widespread in high-prevalence countries
  • Rwanda has recently made progress in HIV prevention, and there is a declining HIV prevalence
  • Male circumcision is not a traditional practice in Rwanda
  • The government of Rwanda is considering policy options for male circumcision
  • Rwandese surgeons were familiar with some surgical techniques and were shown other male circumcision techniques
  • Media and community coverage has meant that there is some awareness and uptake of male circumcision for HIV prevention
  • People with circumcised friends may be more likely to become circumcised
  • A cost of more than $6 for circumcision may be an obstacle
  • Continuing education is required to reinforce condom use, limitation of partner exchange and safe post-operation behaviour
  • In January 2009, the Rwandan governmnet announced support for a neonatal approach to male circumcision
  • The Rwandese Ministry of Health will encourage male circumcision in adolescents and young men
  • Assistance may be needed in:
    • Planning medical or nursing training
    • Developing training models for other health care workers
    • Procuring key re-usable surgical supplies with a high upfront cost

SOURCE: HIV Prevention in Rwanda ( )
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