- a voluntary medical male circumcision story -

I appreciate this program for bringing male circumcision to us, so that we are protected against HIV and other STIs.

(Robert Otieno)

"PEPFAR gives safeguard"

PEPFAR Kenya gives hope and safeguard through....

providing STI-preventing voluntary medical male circumcisions (VMMC)

Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) is a one-off surgical intervention with lifelong HIV prevention benefits for men. It reduces men’s likelihood of acquiring HIV through sexual intercourse with women by about 60%. PEPFAR has supported VMMC as a critical element of Kenya’s comprehensive HIV prevention program since 2008. With over 2.5 million circumcisions recorded by September 2023, this program has averted many potential HIV infections among men. Besides excision of the foreskin, VMMC service package includes HIV testing and counseling, management of sexually transmitted infections plus general health screening for men. The program also serves as a platform for conveniently providing other health services for men including tetanus toxoid immunization, in a single contact. To expand the range of HIV prevention options available for men, PEPFAR is supporting the integration of other HIV prevention services such as PrEP into VMMC. Robert narrates his experience at a PEPFAR-supported VMMC service outlet in Kisumu where he had the opportunity to access a wide range of male sexual reproductive health services.


(Impact statements taken directly from interviews with Robert Otieno in Kisumu, Kenya)


"My name is Otieno, and I am a boda boda operator. I decided to come for circumcision based on the counseling and information I got during mobilization, in terms of the importance of circumcision for preventing sexually transmitted infections. When I heard that VMMC can reduce HIV transmission chances by 60%, that was a motivating factor for me that made me come seek VMMC services. I took my time and went to be circumcised. The procedure went smoothly, and later on I witnessed the benefits of circumcision: it reduces rate of infections, you're clean, and healthy, and I urge our brothers to embrace circumcision.

I have been encouraging my boda boda colleagues like me to practice circumcision from the benefits I have seen. I have also accompanied some of them to hospitals, and they have also acknowledged it is good for our health.

The best way PEPFAR can promote male circumcision is through advocacy to groups and at gatherings - like me, going to the boda boda stages where I deliver these messages. I appreciate this program for bringing male circumcision to us, so that we are protected against HIV and other STIs."


- a pepfar Kenya story of hope -