Adult Male Circumcision Significantly Reduces Risk of Acquiring HIV
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced researchers have now confirmed that medically performed circumcision can significantly lower the risk of adult males contracting HIV through heterosexual intercourse.
Akinso: The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced researchers have now confirmed that medically performed circumcision can significantly lower the risk of adult males contracting HIV through heterosexual intercourse. As a result, the NIAID has announced an early end to two clinical trials of adult male circumcisions. The trial in Kenya, of 2,784 HIV-negative men showed a 53 percent reduction of HIV acquisition in circumcised men related to uncircumcised men, while a trial of 4,996 HIV-negative men in Uganda, showed that HIV acquisition was reduced by 48 percent in circumcised men. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the NIAID, explained the results.
Fauci: So it looks now like with all of the cautions that one needs to take to make sure that this is done in a medically supervised way so that you don't get any unnecessary complications and that, in fact, people don't assume that if they're circumcised therefore they're completely protected which they're not — taking those things into consideration, it appears now that circumcision will take its place among the effective ways of preventing HIV infection. But it must be done in accordance with other safe sex procedures. It can't be a stand-alone way to do it. But it's a very important advance because of what the results show that you can actually; by a relatively simple one time permanent intervention you can actually cut the rate of HIV infection by over 50 percent.
Akinso: Dr. Fauci said it is critical to emphasize that these clinical trials demonstrated that medical circumcision is safe and effective when the procedure is performed by medically trained professionals and when patients receive appropriate care during the healing period following surgery.
Fauci: Obviously you need to be sensitive to the particular cultures and traditions in the societies of the various countries. So in that regard, the World Health Organization is convening a meeting of health leaders from the region in Sub-Saharan Africa to go over data and to explain what the benefits and risks are of this procedure and to leave it up to the authorities within given countries as to whether or not that they would proceed with or recommend that the males in their nation get circumcised for the purpose of avoiding HIV infection.
Akinso: Dr. Fauci said researchers have noted significant variations in HIV prevalence that seemed, at least in certain African and Asian countries, to be associated with the levels of male circumcision in the community. According to Dr. Fauci., in areas where circumcision is common, HIV prevalence tends to be lower; conversely, areas of higher HIV prevalence overlapped with regions where male circumcision is not commonly practiced. This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Wally Akinso
Sound Bite: Dr. Anthony S. Fauci