Tulane Faculty and Students Provide Significant Input to New PLOS Collection


Two faculty and five graduate students are among the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine affiliates involved in a special PLOS collection on medical male circumcision for HIV prevention, released today.

New HIV infections in Sub-Saharan Africa occur at a rate of 2.3 million each year. This new PLOS Collection features original research published in PLOS Medicine and PLOS ONE and presents interim results from a public health campaign applying a longstanding method – voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) – performed by health care practitioners in low resource settings to prevent new infections in men ages 15-49.

Since the WHO and UNAIDS issued recommendations in 2007, this program has been scaled-up with an ongoing, largely US-funded program in 14 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, the epicenter of the global epidemic with over 16 million people currently living with HIV and where new HIV infection rates are highest.

Dr. Rhona MacDonald, senior editor and collection editor at PLOS Medicine says, “This collection shows that at a time of constrained international resources to fight HIV/AIDS, voluntary medical male circumcision offers the advantage of its relatively low cost and one-time action to achieve continuous benefits over other prevention methods, such as pre‐exposure prophylaxis and preventative Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).”

The collection is a joint collaboration between PLOS (the Public Library of Science) and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Defense), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PEPFAR implementing partners, and the ministries of health in Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.

Dr. Jane Bertrand, Neal A. and Mary Vanselow Professor and Chair, authored three papers in the collection, including lead author for a paper entitle Systematic Monitoring of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Scale-Up: Adoption of Efficiency Elements in Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

Linnea Perry, a doctoral student in the Department of Global Health Systems and Development, authored Work Experience, Job-Fulfillment, and Burnout among VMMC Providers in Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

Attitudes, perceptions, and potential uptake of male circumcision among older men in Turkana County, Kenya, using qualitative methods was authored by Dr. Kate Macintyre while she was serving as associate professor at Tulane SPHTM. Dr. Katherine Andrinopoulos is also a co-author on that paper.

Doctoral students Margaret Farrell, Erin Peacock, and Nick Thomas and MPH student Ann-Marie Yongho are all co-authors of work in the collection, and Dr. Arti Shankar, associate professor of clinical biostatistics, provided statistical assistance to several papers.

The collection is being released along with a social media campaign targeted to Facebook and Twitter. Join the conversation at #malecirc.

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May 6, 2014
Dee Boling



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