Circumcision may fight HIV

Widespread male circumcision could slash the number of HIV infections and deaths in Africa by millions, says a study in the journal PLoS Medicine.

A team of international researchers collected data on HIV infection rates and the prevalence of male circumcision. They then used mathematical modelling to determine what would happen if, over the next 10 years, all men in sub-Saharan Africa were circumcised, BBC News reported.

The researchers concluded that, over the following 20 years, there would be about six million fewer HIV infections and three million fewer Aids deaths. Men would experience the greatest reduction in HIV infection.

"The big message from the paper is that there is tremendous potential for male circumcision to have an effect on the HIV epidemic, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa," said study co-author Catherine Hankins, chief scientific advisor to the United Nations Program on HIV/Aids.

However, further research is required, including whether and how to promote male circumcision in order to prevent HIV infection, BBC News reported. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
HIV/Aids Centre

July 2006

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