Lynn M. Van Lith

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Lynn M. Van Lith is member of the 2018 Guideline Development Group (GDG) of the WHO. The GDG's task is to develop updated recommendations on safe male circumcision for HIV prevention and related service delivery for adolescent boys and men in generalized HIV epidemics.[1]


The WHO published the following biography of Lynn M. Van Lith:

Van Lith, Lynn M.

  • Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs
  • MPA
  • New York, USA

Lynn M. Van Lith is the Technical Director for the USAID-funded Breakthrough ACTION project at Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, USA. Lynn Van Lith has nearly 25 years of experience working in international development with a focus on HIV and reproductive health. Much of her work over the past two decades has focused on providing technical leadership and guidance to programs with a particular focus on social and behavior change interventions and strategies to create impact through effective HIV prevention and treatment interventions in sub-Saharan Africa. Most of her career has focused on program management and providing technical leadership of multi-disciplinary teams in the design of social and behavior change programs. Her work has included a focus on community engagement, adolescent girls and young women, key populations and more recently in understanding how best to drive demand for voluntary medical male circumcision and engage men across the treatment continuum. Publications have focused on the impact of health communication in HIV prevention and care outcomes as well as male circumcision. Lynn has lived in Zambia and South Africa and provided technical support to nearly 20 countries across Africa and Asia.[2]

Van Lift is associated with Johns Hopkins University, which has actively promoted non-therapeutic circumcision for many years. Ronald H. Gray, Maria Wawer, and Aaron Tobian are also associated with Johns Hopkins University. PubMed reveals that Van Lift has published numerous papers regarding the promotion of voluntary male non-therapeutic circumcision to adolescent boys. One article in which she and Aaron Tobian are named authors concluded:

In conclusion, VMMC is an effective HIV prevention strategy, and complete and consistent HIV counseling and testing practices that accompany it are vital for reaching a generation of young men with a full package of HIV prevention and treatment services. This study suggests that VMMC is an opportunity that has yet to be taken full advantage of in the quest to protect the current generation of young men and their female partners from HIV.[3]

Van Lift would have a hard time backing away from such a firm position. She seems to be hopelessly committed to promotion of non-therapeutic male circumcision.

See also


  1. REFweb (May 2018). WHO to develop new guidelines on male circumcision. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  2. REFdocument Biographies of Guideline Development Group (GDG) members for WHO guidance PDF, WHO. (September 2018). Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  3. REFjournal Kaufman, Michelle R. / Dam, Kim H / Van Lith, Lynn M., et al. Voluntary medical male circumcision among adolescents: a missed opportunity for HIV behavioral interventions. AIDS. 1 July 2017; Suppl 3 (Suppl 3): S233-S241. PMID. PMC. DOI. Retrieved 5 April 2020.