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Uganda pushes for rubber band circumcision

The resurgence of HIV/Aids in Uganda has pushed the country to implement a less conventional and non-surgical method of circumcision to help in the reduction of the rate of infection



The simple device, called PrePex, which consists of two plastic rings and an elastic band basically starves the foreskin of blood supply. The foreskin then shrivels and is removed with the band after several days.

“I felt nothing, not even a little discomfort,” said Justin Igalla, a father of two, who underwent the procedure which took just minutes, noting there was no blood unlike traditional circumcision, thus reducing the risk of infection.

According to Times Live, the makers of PrePex claim that a man “can resume work and almost all daily activities shortly after the procedure,” with the device “designed to be placed, worn, and removed with minimal disruption”, although they should abstain from sex for six weeks afterwards.

Uganda is not alone in rolling out this device. Other “priority” countries as identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) such as Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia have also seen use of the device.


Scientists have found that the foreskin contains a higher concentration of HIV-receptors than the rest of the penis, thus theoretically increasing the risk of infection. Uganda hopes the device will convince adult men to undergo voluntary circumcision as part of the fight against AIDS, now resurgent in the East African nation after years of decline.

Infection rates peaked at 18% in 1992 but had dropped to 6.4% by 2005. But rates have crept back up, to 7.2% in 2012.

As many as 1.8 million people in Uganda now live with HIV, and a million children have lost their parents to AIDS.

Source: Times Live