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April 2, 2012

Dear Advocate,

In March 2007, a group of stakeholders gathered to review data and draft a WHO/UNAIDS guidance document on voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) for HIV prevention. To mark the five-year anniversary of VMMC being recognized as a highly effective HIV prevention strategy, AVAC is launching an expanded set of resources for advocates. These resources can help advocates seeking to inform, analyze and accelerate progress on VMMC rollout in priority African countries identified by WHO, UNAIDS and PEPFAR, based on high rates of HIV prevalence and low rates of VMMC. At this five-year mark, we’re also focusing on five strategic actions that we’ll be intensifying as part of AVAC’s work to implement the overarching goals we laid out in the AVAC Playbook 2012. This update highlights some of the new resources on our website—and summarizes our five strategic actions.

These resources complement the Male Circumcision Clearinghouse, which is an ongoing collaborative project of WHO, UNAIDS, FHI 360, AVAC and many other stakeholders. Some of the new resources you’ll find include:

Advocates’ Tracking Tools

  • Progress in VMMC Scale-Up in Priority Countries: A regularly updated map showing progress to VMMC targets in 15 countries—and overall progress to the goal of 20 million VMMCs performed by 2015.
  • Advocacy in Country: Updates on civil society coalitions working in priority countries to ensure VMMC is implemented as a cornerstone of combination prevention—along with links to fact sheets, reports, photo documentaries and other tools these advocates have developed for their communities.


  • VMMC—The Power of Prevention: The first in a series of four feature-length podcasts featuring global and grassroots perspectives on VMMC advocacy of the past, present and future.
  • Eight full-length interviews with VMMC champions.
  • Getting That All-Important Cut—Why today?: A personal essay from AVAC team member Angelo Kaggwa.

Download the podcasts in iTunes and subscribe for future updates.

Other New Resources & Updates

We hope you’ll bookmark the Male Circumcision Clearinghouse which has a range of additional materials including a “Tactical Tools” section that provides a guide to how advocates can use key resources found on the Clearinghouse.

And at, we’ll chart progress on the AVAC Playbook 2012, including the following five key actions we’re taking on as part of an expanded VMMC advocacy campaign:

Five Key Actions at the Five-Year Anniversary of VMMC for HIV Prevention

  1. Support civil society coalitions in sub-Saharan African countries prioritized for VMMC rollout so that these coalitions can debunk opposition and make a clear case that national governments must embrace VMMC as part of combination prevention.
  2. Monitor, influence and react to activities in relevant priority countries to ensure that there is no delay in the creation of costed, milestone-driven plans for VMMC rollout, with the goal of maximizing impact on new infections.
  3. Track allocation of resources by donors and national governments. This includes monitoring: how PEPFAR fulfills its commitment to an additional 4.7 million VMMCs over the next two years; reallocation of existing Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria grants and/or new requests for resources for VMMC; and allocation of national government resources.
  4. Track the progress in increasing efficiency and decreasing cost of VMMC programs. This includes operations research on task-shifting and other efficiencies in traditional surgery. Also key: swift evaluation at international and country level of potential new devices for non-surgical VMMC, ensuring fair pricing and commitment from governments and donors to exploring possible implementation.
  5. Maintaining accessible resources including graphics and country activity updates so that all stakeholders can track progress towards the global goal of 20 million VMMCs performed by 2015.

In the past half-decade, African scientists—many of whom led the original trials—have worked alongside nurses, community health workers, communications specialists, advocates and policy makers to translate WHO guidance into practice. Today, some progress has been made, but there is significant work ahead. AVAC is committed to supporting our partners’ work and hope you’ll find these new resources useful in your own strategic action to end AIDS.

Have a new resource or an exciting advocacy strategy? We’d love to hear it. Please be in touch!


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