New studies back circumcision campaign

2011-07-21 07:34

Rome - A campaign to encourage African men to get circumcised to prevent infection by HIV gained a powerful boost on Wednesday by three new studies unveiled at the world Aids forum in Rome.

New cases of HIV among men fell by an astonishing 76% after a circumcision programme was launched in a South African township, researchers reported.

Had no circumcisions been carried out, the tally of new infections among the overall population, men and women combined, would have been 58% higher.

"This study is a fantastic result for a simple intervention which costs 40 euros [R390], takes 20 minutes and has to be done only once in a lifetime," said David Lewis, of the Society for Family Health in Johannesburg and the University of the Witwatersrand.

Circumcision campaigns

In 2006, trials in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa found foreskin removal more than halved men's risk of infection by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Longer-term analysis found the benefit to be even greater than thought, with a risk reduction of around 60%.

After pondering risks and benefits, health watchdogs set in motion circumcision campaigns in 13 sub-Saharan countries that have been badly hit by the Aids virus.

Advocates call it "surgical vaccine," describing it as a cheap yet effective form of prevention.

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to two-thirds of the 33m people living with HIV. As of mid-2010, around 175 000 circumcisions had been carried out in the 13 countries considered priorities, according to UNAids.

The new study was conducted between 2007 and 2010 in Orange Farm, a township of 110 000 adults, where more than 20 000 circumcisions had been performed, especially in the 15-24 age group which is most sexually active.

Greater sexual pleasure

Two other studies released in Rome added to the good news about circumcision:

- Circumcised men say they experience greater sexual pleasure after surgery, a finding that should help overcome unease about the operation.

Investigators at the University of Makerere interviewed 316 men, average age 22, who had been circumcised between February and September 2009.

A year after the operation, 220 of the volunteers said they were sexually active, of whom a quarter said they used condoms.

A total of 87.7% said they found it easier to reach an orgasm after being circumcised, and 92.3% said they experienced more sexual pleasure.

- Newly-circumcised men are just as likely as uncircumcised men to practice safe sex, according to interviews conducted among 2 207 men in western Kenya, six months after they had had the operation.

This helps ease concerns that circumcised men are tempted to abandon condom use in the belief they are completely shielded from HIV.

No 100% protection

France's 2008 Nobel laureate Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, who in 1983 co-identified HIV as the source of Aids, said over-confidence in circumcision was a major anxiety.

"Nothing provides 100-percent protection, not even a vaccine," she told AFP. "Let's stop thinking that one preventative tool is enough. Circumcision has to be part of a combined approach."

The theory behind the benefits of circumcision is that the inner foreskin is an easy entry point for HIV. It is rich in so-called Langerhans cells, tissue that the Aids virus easily latches on to and penetrates.

On the downside, male circumcision does not reduce the risk for women who have intercourse with an HIV-infected man, and the protective benefit does not seem to apply to homosexual intercourse.

There is an indirect advantage, though. The fewer men who are infected with HIV, the smaller the risk of infection for others.

  • subtle59 - 2011-07-21 07:45

    Have sex with ZUMA.... he showers.

      BOFFINBOB - 2011-07-21 08:56

      LOL...Clever & you should have received 100 + thumbs up.

      coconuts - 2011-07-21 09:15

      I shudder at the thought - you crazy subtle59

      Raven - 2011-07-21 13:18

      LoL !

  • Iago - 2011-07-21 07:57

    The problem with studies like this and the consequential belief by those who have willingly allowed themselves to be mutilated in the belief that they won't become HIV+ is that they will continue to have unprotected sex, now with the belief that circumcision is protecting them. In the years to come, the incidence of HIV infection will skyrocket and the funders and supporters of these 'studies' will deny responsibility.

  • VELOCITY - 2011-07-21 08:00

    Instead of promoting condom use, they come up with this stuff.

  • Jack - 2011-07-21 08:17

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right? So, does this mean that if male genital mutilation is accepted and promoted like this, the same would be true for females? Hypocracy is the rule of morons.

      mya - 2011-07-21 12:04

      The difference between male circumcision and femal circumcision is vast. Male circumcision is voluntary, as mentioned above can be a health benefit, makes the penis more attractive to us ladies and enhances sexual pleasure for the man after. Female circumcision is extremely painful, mutilating and often scars the vagina shut, has no health benefits and is done to decrease sexual desire and pleasure for the woman and causes sex to be quite painful for them, and it is generally not a voluntary procedure but a forced cultural practice. Obviously the long punted condom use has obviously not been accepted as many men still refuse to give up the sensation of condom free sex in favour of safety. Im all for it, as long as it's voluntary and done in proper medical surroundings. I do not advocate circumcision schools operating in the bush.

  • BigMoose - 2011-07-21 08:17

    The circumcision schools in the Eastern Cape are proof of this. The initiates either die from sepsis or have their cocks amputated due to gangrene.

      Ockert - 2011-07-21 08:56


      Ockert - 2011-07-21 08:58


      Bulumko - 2011-07-21 10:13

      BigMoose,I agree with you,however,as a Xhosa young man who has undergone the rite,it's communities who have NEVER practised the rite before - particularly those in Pondoland and places like Libode.There's NOTHING wrong with the rite of passage to manhood if practised in the correct man.Many factors are the cause of death of initiates in circumcision schools.

      frankm - 2011-07-21 17:07

      Yes amputate them, then there is no chance of infection

      Doublepost - 2011-07-21 17:25

      Bulumko, your comment doesn't make sense. If the communities who are doing the ritual wrong are ones who haven't done it before, then why are they doing it in the first place? For something to be considered a culture amongst the community, surely they would have to be practicing it for a certain period of time?? The problem stems from two sources. The first is that the reason for the ritual in the first place, is outdated. A man is a man whether or not he has been circumcised. Secondly, it's the so called religious elders who don't know jack about medicine and surgery that perform this "ceremony" and then make monumental screw ups that either cost the child their lives or their member. Why not just go to a hospital and get your foreskin removed properly or KEEP IT and practice responsible sex.

      Marcell - 2011-07-22 11:02

      I think it is a great idea. Give them false hope. I like what people read into these studies.

  • FRANSB - 2011-07-21 08:30

    By merely adding the words " studies have shown" means absolutely nothing. The fact that a "study amongst 316 men..." can draw any conclusion on the effectivensss of circumcision preventing HIV is nothing short of a joke. This notion defies any reasonable medical logic. HIV is caused by the transfer of bodily fluids. I cant see how the lack of a foreskin is going to have any effect. Even Barri-Sinoussi contradicts himself by saying that there maybe some truth in this yet it negates this theory with homosexual intercourse. One cant help but wonder if this is not a Catholic sanctioned campaign to take the condom debate out of the HIV debate

      Kgomotso - 2011-07-21 10:31

      You obviously lack basic knowledge on viral behavior. Virus is carried and transport by fluid but in order to infect and replicate it needs an attachment side once it is attached it uses your metalism for its DNA then replicate and attack you. The article is very clear the foreskin is an easy entry because it is rich in whatever that makes it an attachment side.

  • DEVILS SON - 2011-07-21 08:36

    sorry but you were born with it for a evolutionary reason,

      patrickb - 2011-07-21 08:57

      Spot on!

      frankm - 2011-07-21 17:09

      Yes I agree, it was there for a purpose. I wish my parents had not done me when I was an infant. They must have been so optimistic to cut of some before they knew how big it would get!

  • whatno - 2011-07-21 08:45

    How can such things be published? All the efforts to teach people about different forms of protection are now down the drain.Poor gullable people who believed that Zuma's having had a shower helped him, are now more confused than ever. SA will now really keep its place as the nation with most HIV/AIDS infections in the world, well done on that. Stupid

      Kgomotso - 2011-07-21 10:52

      The findings which are not completely new information says it clearly circumcion reduces the risk by 60% it did not say it cures or prevents HIV infection completely. No one believes shower cure AIDS that was what was mentioned in a court not by medical gurus. Much as Scientist are confident in circumcion they are also concious and warning the public nothing even vaccinaction provides 100%. Which article are you reading. The is no one in SA who believes shower cures AIDS that was mentioned in court and not by Scientist or Medical guru. Do not equate poverty to stupidity. The reason SA suffers high AIDS infections and death unlike Uganda is that the likes of Uganda are preaching only abstiency.

  • Dave - 2011-07-21 08:49

    Great! Let's get rid of that ugly, germ infested piece of useless skin. Women all over will be rejoicing in not having to face that revolting thing anymore.

      DEVILS SON - 2011-07-21 08:51

      where must we stash spare change then?

      DEVILS SON - 2011-07-21 08:56

      using soap is the norm in most civilised places. i bet there are less bacteria on a foreskin than in the human mouth if both are kept clean

      mya - 2011-07-21 12:19

      yeah... especially if you want us to be more excited about BJ's......

  • Rijger - 2011-07-21 08:53

    Just think, new studies have also proved that if you remove the first five centimetres of tissue along with the skin, you have a 100% rate drop in new infections!

  • Ockert - 2011-07-21 08:57

    How can you believe this crap ?

  • Gorilla - 2011-07-21 09:02

    One can't dock puppies tails because we're told it's inhumane, but we can lop off the ends of someones fiddly bit. Makes sense.

      mya - 2011-07-21 12:22

      its about choice Gorilla. Dogs have no choice, there are no health benefits in docking. But if a man chooses to dock his d$ck, then why not? He benefits in many ways, health, appearance, sensation (after the healing). Had an ex whose girlfriend before me actually bit it off during ... he swears after the initial terror she actually did him a favour as the sensation was ten times better after...

      DEVILS SON - 2011-07-21 17:00

      worst thing is some religions its done to infants, no choice at all, its not like you can staple a shred of chicken skin on at a later stage.....ooooh heres a good one: now you know where calamari rings come from haha

  • Mugabe - 2011-07-21 09:07

    am sure now that explains why Zuma slept with an HIV woman but is still negative

  • patrickb - 2011-07-21 09:08

    Hate to state the obvious, but circumcision would naturally help the "great unwashed". Have had the pleasure of being next to a few central African people on a plane, and believe me that was scary. If they smell that bad, I cannot imagine what the smell of their........ Nothing like being able to masturbate naturally, without having to drown yourself in lube. Foreskins Forever!

  • erazor - 2011-07-21 09:26

    I find it highly ironic that we have a global campaign against female genital mutilation, yet we are promoting male genital mutilation. Without casting doubt on all these studies (which ARE doubtful), presumably the reason circumcision "prevents" HIV transmission is because the foreskin creates a warm, moist environment which allows germs to multiply. Simple personal hygiene will have the same result, without genital mutilation. Uncircumcised penises are far more sensitive than circumcised (I can say this with certainty because my penis is far too sensitive for me to have the glans exposed in my underwear). Also, the consensus among all the women I have asked is they feel more during sex with an uncircumcised penis than a circumcised one.

      MxT - 2011-07-21 11:27

      @ erazor Allow me to rebuff your arguments. Circumcision (despite what the anti-circ Nazis would have you believe)cannot be compared to genital mutilation in women. To say so is an insult to women and the condoning of a barbaric practice (I am excluding traditional circumcisions by unqualified personnel). To say circumcision is barbaric would also be a direct attack on the religions who practice it. There is no "global campaign" against cosmetic surgery to a woman's genitals (popular in some circles I believe). You are undoubtedly happy in your upper middle class residence with running water and soap. The point being made is that the vast majority in Africa do not have these little necessities, and "simple hygiene" is not so simple. In any case if you were to read the research which has been published (for peer review) in some very respectable medical journals, you would see that the HIV protection cannot be realised solely by washing your pecker every time you have sex. Jacob Zuma tried that argument and was roundly criticised. As far as your comment on sensitivity goes, that is hearsay at best. Hardly research and certainly not definitive. I for one (being circumcised) totally disagree with you. Once again proper research (not your individual hearsay) says during intercourse, women cannot tell the difference between a circumcised and uncircumcised penis. My unscientific polling of women has revealed that most women far prefer the look of a circumcised penis.

      mya - 2011-07-21 12:25

      hear hear Mxt.... these men that compare voluntary circumcision to womens genital mutilation have no clue as to what they are talking about. And from a womens point of view, I would far prefer a nicely trimmed pecker to a big piece of floppy cheesy skinflap that I have pull back for you. Ugh... mouthwash please.

      DEVILS SON - 2011-07-21 13:38

      poverty is no excuse for poor hygeine

      Kgomotso - 2011-07-21 13:58

      You obviously do not know the difference between bacteria and a virus. you can wash away, kill bacteria with antibiotic but not a virus you can not kill it, it stays inactivate in the body.

      DEVILS SON - 2011-07-21 14:59

      i know the difference, you may not have noticed how the whole topic shifted to how disgusting some people think a helmet is. in the case of aids all you have to do is shower and chow a beetroot

      Doublepost - 2011-07-21 17:32

      Ah, mya, do Jews practice voluntary circumcision? Just a simple question.

      Purple LeMoo - 2011-07-21 18:37

      @mya. I am so sorry that the guys that you have been with the past do not know about the concept of hygiene. Really, truly sorry.

      MxT - 2011-07-21 21:10

      @DS No DS, the topic didn't shift, that was a side issue. As per normal, the anti-circ Nazis have chosen to ignore the salient points of the sub thread. And if you had no access to soap or clean water as many poor people in Africa,I would love to see how clean you would be. Very arrogant reply - not unexpected. Why are you guys harping on about hygiene when there is so much more to this article. Is that the best the AC-Nazis can come up with.The assumption that anybody who is pro-circumcision must be of poor hygiene is fatally flawed.

      mya - 2011-07-22 02:24

      Erazer, the article is not about jewish circumcision. Its about voluntary circumcision in adult men. If you read what I say, instead of thinking with your small head, you would see I support VOLUNTARY circumcision. Purple le whatever.... I have a preference for a circumsized one... just like you okes have preferences for big or small tits.. personal choice, i prefer it. Sorry if I offended your little flap.

  • DEVILS SON - 2011-07-21 09:32

    its a little known fact that wearing a helmet protects your head, nuff said

  • DEVILS SON - 2011-07-21 09:56

    last i look like im in the diamond business

  • Stanley Black - 2011-07-21 14:13

    As a South African this is an issue that I feel is not given the attention it should. It need everyday South Africans to formulate opinions on it and for those opinions to be debated and commented on as a society. is somewhere you can do all that, go check it our submitting and commenting is easy and requires no registration.

  • Zion - 2011-07-21 17:13

    Who gets the rings.?

  • Jannie Swem - 2011-07-21 17:21

    Hooded Villians, is the correct term:) LOL Just get it done by a doctor, not some chief with a rusty panga, that he cut 20 other okes dongs with, and slaughtered a goat with a few days back...

  • Pascal86 - 2011-07-21 17:27

    @mya: It's really lame of you to be so insulting about foreskins. You don't like em - fine. Don't drop primary school references to them all over this feed. There's a lot of variation in vaginas and some of them look beautiful, others look nasty. But that's how the women were born, they shouldn't change them by having surgery. So by the same token, you shouldn't put pressure on guys to change their bits because of your personal look/hygiene view. If they do it for medical reasons, then it's their decision, but your punting it for the reason you prefer to put it in your mouth is a joke.

      Doublepost - 2011-07-21 17:39

      She's an ultra libby feminazi who thinks she's right about every little thing. Don't take much notice of her! She's used trash, been passed around from guy to guy like a used rag, or is it "hag".

      mya - 2011-07-22 02:28

      you obviously both have foreskins and are touchy about it. Like I said before, personal preference. Doesn't make me a whore. What only men are able to talk candidly about the body?

  • Purple LeMoo - 2011-07-21 18:40

    Do it, don’t do it. Whatever…. Personal choice. Just don’t force it on children.

  • Marius - 2011-09-08 14:48

    Circumcised or uncircumcised, if you sleep with your HIV+ partner without protection and without knowing their status, you will get infected all the same. if not today then tomorrow, circumcision only reduces your risk of infection if you have sex once. In practical form it only delay your date of infection. Since nobody only have sex once. As I say, if not today then tomorrow, but you will get infected all the same. They should not waste their time and money on that. You cannot reduce the infection rate unless you change the sexual behaviour and responsibility of the people. More South Africans are circumcised than in Europe. Yet AIDS in South Africa is much more. More Xhosa’s are circumcised than white men, yet they have more AIDS than the whites. Surely circumcision does not determine HIV rates.

      Marius - 2011-09-08 14:56

      Put the focus and resources where it really matters.

  • ozgurkaleozu - 2012-03-22 12:47

    Hi friends, I wanted to share a video about male circumcision. Please have a look to to see how the adult male circumcision is easy with disposable male circumcision clamps. Best regards, Ozzy

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