PSI Case Studies Complement Learnings at the World Social Marketing Conference

By Dana Sievers, Research Coordinator, PSI Over the next two days, social marketers and behavior change professionals from around the globe will convene at the 2017 World Social Marketing Conference (WSMC) to share lessons learned and best practices for solving the world’s most pressing social issues. A key highlight at this year’s gathering is the

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Using Market Research for Long-Term Sustainability of VMMC in Zimbabwe and Zambia

By Beth Skorochod, Senior Advisor for Social and Behavior Change, PSI This post originally appeared on UNAIDS’ blog. Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) provides at least a 60% protective effect against HIV infection for men, but, while service delivery for VMMC has improved, uptake has stalled. In response, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded Ipsos

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Voluntary Male Circumcision

Why 9.1 Million African Men Chose Circumcision

By Jenny Tolep, External Relations and Communications At the recent International AIDS Society conference, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that in 2014 there had been a 750 percent increase in the annual number of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcisions (VMMC) performed just four years previously in 2010. This is a tremendous scale-up for a biomedical

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A New Technology to Support HIV Prevention

By Oscar Abello, PSI Trymore Chikwiriro is 29 years old, and his wife gave birth to their first child just this past October. Just like they expected, all of their nights were focused on their new baby– so the time seemed right for Trymore to undergo voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC). The World Health Organization

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A Total Market for Circumcision

How private sector providers add marketing and distribution value for voluntary medical male circumcision

By Oscar Abello President Barack Obama. Former Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Oscar-award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o. They’re not just of Kenyan heritage—all three are specifically of Luo heritage, the third largest ethnic group in Kenya, predominantly residing in the Nyanza province on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya’s western region. The Luo standout

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Shining a Spotlight on Health Workers

Highlights from day 2 of Mandy Moore and Jennifer James’ trip to Tanzania

Mandy Moore, PSI global ambassador, along with Jennifer James, founder of Mom Bloggers for Social Good, visited health workers in & around Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on the second day of a trip to discover all the ways #HealthWorkersCount in global health and development. Learn more at Photo credit: Trevor Snapp Checkout highlights from

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The promise of a simple tool in the fight against AIDS

Simple is a bit of an overused word in global health, but it does apply to the PrePex. The safe male circumcision device is only two plastic rings, a rubber band, and a thread. That’s it.

Male circumcision experts are pretty excited about the potential of PrePex. The research already shows that safe male circumcision can help to reduce the spread of HIV. Providing an easier and safer way to complete circumcisions is a powerful tool in finding a way to get to the end of AIDS.

Rwanda is one of a few African countries that are trying to increase the rate of male circumcisions as a part of its HIV reduction strategy. The New York Times recently discussed the work in Rwanda and PrePex.

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Small Global Health Investments can Lead to Big Results

By Amy Lieberman

Zambian public health clinics performing adult male circumcisions.

It was a bold move, says Doug Call, Senior Regional Director of Southern Africa at PSI, despite support from local government and evidence from recent randomized controlled trials that showed a 60 percent reduced chance of HIV transmission for HIV-negative circumcised men.

“It was risky on a number of fronts,” Call remembers. “The randomized controlled trials were published but there was and continues to be a backlash against male circumcision. We didn’t know whether or not the donor environment in the U.S. would really get behind the idea to fund this.”

PSI also did not want to make an investment and have it fall apart, Call says, over a project that was culturally loaded.

By the end of 2008, PSI, through its partnership with the Zambian government, performed nearly 2,500 circumcisions. The next year, the program expanded to Zimbabwe – with more than $1 million in private funding for the start-up initiative – and by 2011, the project received its first funding award from the U.S. Agency for International Development and then by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2010.

Now, PSI’s voluntary medical male circumcision program has performed the surgical operation on more than 400,000 teenage boys and adult men in Southern Africa. The United Nations Children’s Fund, the Gates Foundation, USAID and the U.K. Department for International Development are backing is Zimbabwe project with an approximate collective $57 million, and the Zambia initiative is receiving roughly $39 million from USAID, the Gates Foundation and the U.S. Department of Defense.

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PEPFAR Makes Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision a Priority

A recent article in the Journal of AIDS (JAIDS) describes how voluntary medical male circumcision has emerged as a priority intervention for PEPFAR. Dr Karin Hatzold, MPH of PSI/Zimbabwe is listed among the various authors of the article that features experts from the CDC, USAID, UNICEF, the Kenya AIDS/STI Control Program and many more. They point to strong success in Kenyan’s Nyanza province and scientific evidence of the efficacy of VMMC to show that the intervetion both works and can reach many men.

From the abstract:

As the science demonstrating strong evidence for voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) for HIV prevention has evolved, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has collaborated with international agencies, donors, and partner country governments supporting VMMC programming. Mathematical models forecast that quickly reaching a large number of uncircumcised men with VMMC in strategically chosen populations may dramatically reduce community-level HIV incidence and save billions of dollars in HIV care and treatment costs.

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