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The Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is a global nonprofit organization providing cutting-edge medicine and advocacy to over 1,000,000 people in 43 countries. We are currently the largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care in the world. Learn more
AHF Philippines works with the Department of Health (DOH) at the central level, coordinates with the the DOH regional offices and local health offices to ensure that its programs, projects and activities are aligned with that of the national response. Learn more
The Asia Bureau of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has supported AHF Philippines’ partners, Family Planning Organization of the Philippines Metro Manila and Iloilo, to implement voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) programming in 2022. Nearly 560 boys have been circumcised and tested for HIV to date.
"In the Philippines, VMMC is a common practice and culturally accepted. VMMC is the complete surgical removal of the foreskin, which is usually performed on adolescent boys when they reach the ages of 10-to-14 years old and done during summer school break. This is to give ample time for healing," said Nenet L. Ortega, Country Program Manager, AHF Philippines.
VMMC services in AHF Philippines is part of a holistic approach of prevention for boys. Apart from the actual VMMC service, clients are counseled and introduced to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education. Male and female fertility and reproductive systems are discussed, as well as hygiene, teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections. HIV testing and linkage services are also integrated in the activity.
Evidence from studies and medical interventions showed that quickly reaching many uncircumcised men with VMMC in strategically chosen populations may dramatically reduce community-level HIV incidence and save billions of dollars in HIV care and treatment costs. Because VMMC is a one-time procedure that confers lifelong partial protection against HIV, programs for adult men are vital, short-term investments with long-term benefits.
VMMC is a highly effective, relatively quick, and cost-savings intervention. The protection against HIV is substantial, though partial, and repeated treatment is not required to maintain the benefits. No other currently available HIV intervention provides this permanence of effect. It's an important public health tool that deserves scale-up.