Background: Male circumcision can reduce the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV-1 infection in men. Neonatal male circumcision (NMC) has many potential advantages over circumcision at older ages, but little is known about its feasibility and safety in resource-limited settings.
Methods: We performed a randomized trial in southeastern Botswana of Mogen clamp and Plastibell, 2 commonly used devices for NMC. Follow-up visits occurred at 6 weeks and 4 months postpartum. Adverse events, parental satisfaction, and staff impressions were recorded.
Results: Of 302 male neonates randomized, 300 (99%) underwent circumcision, 153 (51%) with Mogen clamp, and 147 (49%) with Plastibell. There were no major adverse events in the Mogen clamp arm, but there were 2 major adverse events in the Plastibell arm (both were a proximally migrated ring that had to be removed by study staff). Minor adverse events were more common with the Mogen clamp compared with the Plastibell, specifically removal of too little skin and formation of skin bridges or adhesions (12 versus 1 and 11 versus 3, respectively, all P < 0.05). Five (3%) infants in the Mogen clamp arm and none in the Plastibell arm had minor bleeding (P = 0.03). More than 94% of mothers reported being highly or completely satisfied with the procedure.
Conclusions: NMC can be performed in Botswana with a low rate of adverse events and high parental satisfaction. Although the risk of migration and retention of the Plastibell is small, the Mogen clamp may be safer for NMC in regions where immediate emergent medical attention is not available.