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World Health Organization

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Chief Circumcision Expert:
David R. Tomlinson
Related Organizations:

The World Health Organization endorses male circumcision as an HIV prevention method based on the three RCTs in Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda.[1]

WHO Endorses Circumcision as HIV Prevention

...male circumcision should be considered an efficacious intervention for HIV prevention in countries and regions with heterosexual epidemics, high HIV and low male circumcision prevalence.

--World Health Organization. Male circumcision for HIV prevention. (2011)

On their website, they acknowledge that, even if the latest "studies" were correct, "[m]ale circumcision provides only partial protection," and that it should be part of a "comprehensive HIV prevention package" that includes HIV testing and counseling services, treatment for STD infections, the promotion of safer sex practices and the provision of condoms and the promotion of their correct and consistent use.

Note: Even if the recent trials were accurate (and their credibility is highly questionable), circumcision could only reduce the relative risk of acquiring HIV between circumcised and uncircumcised men by 60% over a period of about one year. Condoms have an absolute reduction risk of acquiring HIV that's over 95% (closer to 100% when used properly), making circumcision a moot point.


Chief Expert on Circumcision

David R. Tomlinson is the inventor of the AccuCirc device.[2] He also just so happens to be the "chief expert on circumcision" at the World Health Organization.[3]

Initiatives Since 2006

The Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR), together with the WHO Department of HIV/AIDS and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), launched a number of new initiatives in 2006–2007.[4]

Circumcision Manual

In partnership with other WHO departments, UNAIDS, and the Johns Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics (JHPIEGO), the Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) has developed a Manual for male infant circumcision under local anaesthesia.[5][4] The manual is intended for use by clinical officers, who can be trained to perform uncomplicated circumcision, and to refer more complex cases. The manual is expected to be published in 2011. The manual itself is supported by training guides and a certification framework, to facilitate the upgrading of skills of officers who are not otherwise authorized to perform surgery.

Assesment Toolkit

RHR is also supporting the development of a toolkit that will allow countries to assess their preparedness for introducing or expanding male circumcision services. RHR contributed to a number of other documents dealing with various aspects of male circumcision, including a review of global trends and determinants of prevalence, safety and acceptability, and a guide to enhancing the quality of male circumcision services.

See Also

  • David R. Tomlinson -- AccuCirc Inventor. "Chief circumcision expert" at the W.H.O.
  • AccuCirc -- Circumcision device, invented by the "chief circumcision expert" at the W.H.O.
  • UNAIDS -- Related to the W.H.O.


Post about the World Health Organization on CircWatch


  1. "Male circumcision for HIV prevention". World Health Organization. 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  2. S. Katz, Paula (2008-09). "Night work without burnout". Today's Hospitalist. Retrieved 2011-09-26. " invention: a circumcision tool to help prevent HIV that has recently been cleared by the FDA." 
  3. Hennessy-Fiske, Molly (2011-09-26). "Injuries linked to circumcision clamps". Los Angeles Times.,0,4367816.story. Retrieved 2011-09-25. "Dr. David Tomlinson, who teaches family medicine at Brown University in Providence, R.I., and serves as the World Health Organization's chief expert on circumcision." 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Male circumcision for HIV control". World Health Organization. 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  5. World Health Organization; JHPIEGO (2010). Manual for early infant male circumcision under local anaesthesia.. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO Document Production Services. ISBN 978 92 4 150075 3. Retrieved 2011-06-01. 
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