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Award Winner 2012: PrePex by Circ MedTech

Award Category: Technology for Health


A social enterprise, Circ MedTech specializes in innovative, affordable and scalable public health solutions. Their primary focus is on positively contributing to the global fight against HIV/AIDS by enabling safe and rapid scale up of non-surgi­cal adult male circumcision via the PrePex device.


Clinical trials have shown that male circumcision can reduce a man’s risk of HIV infection by roughly 70%, spurring organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS to call for the rapid scale-up of voluntary medi­cal male circumcision in countries with high HIV prevalence. Public health officials are aiming to reach nearly 20 million men across 14 priority nations in sub-Saharan Africa by 2015. During the past five years, less than 5% of this target has been met as the only approved method is surgical.

In response to the challenge of scaling up in resource-scarce settings with limited surgi­cal skills and infrastructure, Circ MedTech developed PrePex. PrePex is an innovative non-surgical device administered by minimally-skilled nurses in rural settings in just a few minutes with no injected anesthesia. The FDA-cleared, CE Mark-certified device has been clinically studied in Rwanda under the guidance of the WHO. Not only is the procedure much faster and cheaper than surgical methods, it is safer, too. The option of a completely bloodless procedure with no needles and no disruption to daily activities is attractive to men and has the potential to significantly increase uptake.

The PrePex device has been recognized by global leaders as having the potential to revo­lutionize HIV prevention and save millions of lives by making scale-up a reality for Africa.


  • THINKING “OUTSIDE THE BOX”: The science and engineering behind the only non-surgical device for adult male circumcision is elaborate, but the outcome is very simple. A rigid plastic inner ring combined with a special high-tech “rubber band” induces ischemic necro­sis with no pain, avoiding the need for injections.
  • SUPPORTIVE PARTNERSHIPS: Recognizing the potential of this life-saving intervention, the Rwandan government worked with the WHO to prove that this innovation could be a game-changer for all of Africa. Partnerships with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNFPA, UNAIDS, CDC, the Global Fund, USAID and JHPIEGO have also been instrumental.

Download the PrePex Case Study