MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report 2018 03 2367(11) 337-339 doi 10.15585/mmwr.mm6711a6
Male circumcision reduces the risk for female-to-male human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission by approximately 60% (1) and has become a key component of global HIV prevention programs in countries in Eastern and Southern Africa where HIV prevalence is high and circumcision coverage is low. Through September 2017, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) had supported 15.2 million voluntary medical male circumcisions (VMMCs) in 14 priority countries in Eastern and Southern Africa (2). Like any surgical intervention, VMMC carries a risk for complications or adverse events. Adverse events during circumcision of males aged ≥10 years occur in 0.5% to 8% of procedures, though the majority of adverse events are mild (3,4). To monitor safety and service quality, PEPFAR tracks and reports qualifying notifiable adverse events. Data reported from eight country VMMC programs during 2015-2016 revealed that bleeding resulting in hospitalization for ≥3 days was the most commonly reported qualifying adverse event. In several cases, the bleeding adverse event revealed a previously undiagnosed or undisclosed bleeding disorder. Bleeding adverse events in men with potential bleeding disorders are serious and can be fatal. Strategies to improve precircumcision screening and performance of circumcisions on clients at risk in settings where blood products are available are recommended to reduce the occurrence of these adverse events or mitigate their effects (5).