News24

Call to withdraw circumcision clamp

2010-07-08 13:06

Cape Town - Aids activists and doctors have called for the use of a Malaysian circumcision device to be put on hold until safety concerns have been addressed.

They said the device, the Tara KLamp, was being aggressively marketed in several southern African countries, including South Africa.

In a joint statement on Thursday, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society said they encouraged voluntary male circumcision.

It was a way of reducing the risk of heterosexual men contracting HIV and the Human Papilloma Virus.

However a controlled trial of the Tara KLamp at Orange Farm in Gauteng had found a very high rate of "adverse events".

Men circumcised using the clamp also reported worse pain than men circumcised using the forceps-guided method of medical circumcision.

That trial had been stopped early due to the unacceptably high rate of adverse events, and the researchers had "strongly" cautioned against using the clamp on young adults.

The clamp was attached to the foreskin, and after about a week the device, along with the foreskin, usually fell off.

But in some cases the device did not fall off, forcing the patient to have it removed surgically.

"Safety must be proven before any new medical intervention is implemented," the TAC and doctors said.

"Currently, the balance of evidence shows that the (clamp) is unsafe for use on adolescents and adults," they said.

"The (clamp) must be withdrawn from sale and distribution for adolescent and adult circumcision throughout sub-Saharan Africa until the device's safety concerns are addressed."