HIV/Aids

14 December 2006

Circumcision cuts HIV risk

Circumcision of adult males greatly reduces their risk of getting HIV through heterosexual intercourse, US government researchers reported Wednesday.

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Circumcision of adult males greatly reduces their risk of getting HIV through heterosexual intercourse, US government researchers reported Wednesday.

A two-year study of 2 784 men in Kenya found that circumcision cut the risk by 53 percent, while a study of 4 996 men in Uganda found that it cut the risk by 48 percent.

Trials halted early
Both trials were halted early because of the strong positive findings, according to the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"Many studies have suggested that male circumcision plays a role in protecting against HIV acquisition," Dr Anthony S. Fauci, NIAID director, said in a prepared statement. "We now have confirmation - from large, carefully controlled, randomised clinical trials - showing definitively that medically performed circumcision can significantly lower the risk of adult males contracting HIV through heterosexual intercourse."

"These findings are of great interest to public health policy makers who are developing and implementing comprehensive HIV prevention programmes," Dr Elias A. Zerhouni, NIH director, added.

The Associated Press reported that the link between male circumcision and HIV prevention was first noted as in the late 1980s. The first major clinical trial, of 3 000 men in South Africa, found last year that circumcision cut the HIV risk by 60 percent. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
HIV/Aids Centre
Circumcision cuts STI risk

December 2006

 

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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria in 2005. She is a patients' rights activist and loves using social media to teach about HIV. She is in private practice in Johannesburg.

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