UNAIDS-PEPFAR Southern & Eastern Africa Region Male Circumcision Communication Meeting (September 22 - 24, 2010)

The rapid roll-out of male circumcision (MC) programming is crucial to halting the further spread of the HIV epidemic in countries with generalized epidemics and low rates of MC. This is an urgent public health challenge; if the 14 target countries reach 80 percent coverage by 2015, an estimated 4 million adult infections will be averted. Modeling indicates that reaching these targets faster will avert even more new infections than a gradual scale-up.

Creating demand for adolescent and adult MC is essential to the success of scale-up. To consolidate learning and to advance MC communication, the Male Circumcision Technical Working Group for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Joint U.N. Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) organized the first regional meeting on MC communication September 22 - 24, 2010. Held in Durban, South Africa, the three-day meeting brought together 117 health professionals from 14 countries in east and southern Africa and international experts from Europe and North America.

The meeting aimed to advance knowledge and to share promising experiences and communication materials for adolescent and adult MC in three key areas: demand creation, client counseling, and advocacy. The program provided participants with an overview of current work in MC communication and fostered interactive and in-depth discussion of key issues in small group settings.

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