Sunday, March 04, 2007

Male circumcision reduces risk of HIV / AIDS transmission

Church networks responding to HIV and AIDS welcome findings on prevention effects of male circumcision

“Churches and their related health networks and facilities need to seriously consider how male circumcision can be incorporated into comprehensive HIV prevention strategies,” says Dr Manoj Kurian, program executive for health and healing, World Council of Churches. Kurian is reacting to the findings of two studies reported in The Lancet on 23 February, which confirm that male circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection in men by 50-60 percent.

“Any effective means of preventing the spread of HIV that is based on solid scientific evidence we should welcome and take into account,” states Kurian.
The Lancet articles report on randomized, controlled studies in Kenya and Uganda that confirm findings of earlier research on the effectiveness of male circumcision in preventing HIV infection. The procedures were carried out by trained physicians and accompanied by educational efforts and advice. A related article in the same edition recommends the rapid scale up of medical services to include male circumcision for prevention of HIV infection along with its other health benefits."

Comment: nothing new here. We have known for more than a decade that circumcision reduces risk of HIV transmission - it may be that it makes ulceration from other sex diseases less likely. But this latest report shows the issue again needs addressing as part of HIV strategies.

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