A non-surgical circumcision device that could delay the spread of AIDS in Africa has received approval from the World Health Organization on Friday, according to the NY Times.
The PrePex is the only circumcision method, aside from conventional surgery, approved by WHO. Naturally, this is not a halachically accepted method, and it is intended strictly for medical use.
Dr. Eric P. Goosby, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, told the NYT that the device would “truly help save lives.”
Some experts believe that circumcision lowers the chance of a heterosexual male contracting HIV by about 60 percent.
The U.S. has so far paid for more than 2 million circumcisions in Africa to assist the effort to curb the spread of AIDS.
A two-nurse team employs the PrePex to remove a male’s foreskin with a rubber band. The procedure requires only topical anesthesia, and is safer than surgery.
The device was developed by Circ MedTech, an Israeli company founded in 2009, according to Bloomberg Business Week. Circ MedTech describes itself as a social enterprise, offering innovative, affordable and scalable public healthcare solutions.
“Our primary goal is to positively contribute to the global fight against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases,” declares their website.
According to Circ MedTech, the PrePex device was validated for the safety and efficacy of task shifting from physicians to nurses by the Government of Rwanda, the study was published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS). This study represents the third and final clinical evaluation of the PrePex device based on the WHO Framework for Clinical Evaluation of Devices for Adult Male Circumcision.
The study demonstrated that circumcision performed by nurses when using the PrePex device is safe and effective. This third step follows the PrePex clinical validation of safety, efficacy and supremacy over surgical circumcision performed by surgeons in Rwanda.