Study Links Adult Male Circumcision to Reduced HIV Prevalence

A study based on a circumcision program conducted in Orange Farm, South Africa revealed that circumcising adult males is effective in preventing the spread of HIV. The study “resulted in a 55% reduction in HIV prevalence and a 76% reduction in HIV incidence in circumcised men.” This study is the first to link an increased rate of adult male circumcision to a reduction in the spread of HIV. The results of the study were presented at the 6th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention by the French National Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis.

Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS, stated, “Science is proving that we are at the tipping point of the epidemic. Urgent action is not needed to close the gap between science and implementation to reach the millions of people who are waiting for these discoveries. Scaling up voluntary medical male circumcision services rapidly to young men in high HIV prevalence settings will help reach the 2015 goal of reducing sexual transmission of HIV by 50%.”

UNAIDS and the World Health Organization (WHO) nevertheless indicated that male circumcision only offers partial protection and encouraged the regular HIV testing and counseling services, as well as the adoption of safe sex practices.


Statement of UNAIDS 7/20/11; Bloomberg 7/20/11; World Health Organization 6/2010

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