Ethiopia: PEPFAR-Supported Clinical Adult Male Circumcision Services for the Military (June 2011)

With support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), through the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) is expanding access to clinical adult male circumcision services for members of the uniformed forces.

During a ten-day PEPFAR-supported male circumcision campaign from March 28 – April 8, 2011, the ENDF circumcised 429 men in different command posts at 15 sites. These individuals also received HIV counseling and testing services. 

Research has shown that sexual transmission of HIV from female to male is reduced by up to 60 percent if the male partner is circumcised. Recently, the PEPFAR team in Ethiopia has incorporated male circumcision as an important additional strategy to prevent HIV transmission.

United States support for male circumcision services for members of the uniformed forces includes: assessing facility readiness in selected ENDF command hospitals, conducting clinical adult male circumcision training for participants selected from six ENDF hospitals, and procuring and distributing the necessary male circumcision equipment and supplies. 

In Ethiopia, male circumcision is commonly performed during the neonatal period, mostly by traditional practitioners. According to the 2005 Demographic Health Survey (DHS), nationwide male circumcision prevalence is estimated at 93 percent, whereas in the Gambella and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) Regions about 46 percent and 79.6 percent of men are circumcised respectively. 

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