Background: Circumcision devices can facilitate adult voluntary medical male circumcision programs for HIV prevention. The World Health Organization recommends field studies to confirm the safety of devices in local settings.
Methods: We evaluated the safety of the ShangRing device in routine service delivery by measuring adverse event (AE) rates overall and by HIV status. We enrolled men aged 18-54 years and scheduled them for 2 post-circumcision follow-up visits at day 7 for device removal and days 35-42. Men were examined to document AEs and healing and to ascertain client acceptability. Provider preferences were also assessed.
Results: We enrolled 1163 men (557 in Kenya and 606 in Zambia); the as-treated analysis population comprised 1149 men, including 84 HIV-positive men. There were no serious AEs and 2 severe AEs: 1 severe wound dehiscence and 1 severe pain, both of which resolved with treatment. There were 18 moderate/severe AEs among 16 men (1.4% of men; 95% confidence interval: 0.8% to 2.3%). The most common AE was wound dehiscence (9 men, 0.8%). Healing was similar between HIV-infected and uninfected men, with 85.7% and 87.3% completely healed at days 35-42. Most men (94.8%) were very satisfied with post-circumcision appearance of the penis, and almost all would recommend a ShangRing procedure. Nineteen of 21 providers preferred the ShangRing over conventional surgery.
Conclusions: The ShangRing has an excellent safety profile with few hemorrhagic and infectious complications. The ShangRing is well accepted by clients and preferred by providers, making it a potential boon to the scale-up of adult voluntary medical male circumcision in African countries.