Circumcision cuts risk of HIV infection, experts say

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

[MELBOURNE] Getting men to choose voluntary circumcision is seen as essential in preventing new cases of HIV infection in heterosexual men and women.

This was a hot topic at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia (20-25 July), as AIDS advocates stressed that 20 million men in 14 African countries with high HIV prevalence will need to undergo the procedure.

“Fifteen years ago, no one thought male circumcision had any correlation with HIV incidences,” says Bryan Callahan, communications officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Since then, three controlled and randomised studies in South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda have confirmed that male circumcision can decrease the risk of HIV infection by around 60 per cent.

“HIV can’t get through normal skin,” Roger Short, Wexler Professional Fellow in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Melbourne, explains to SciDev.Net.

Source: SciDev.Net (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
infectious diseases, public health, reproductive health