Circumcision is the ablation of the penile foreskin which covers the glans. It may involve physicians or nurses for medical purposes like phimosis, penile cosmetic surgery or cancer, but it was first practiced for religious reasons, essentially by the Jews and Muslims.
HIV was discovered in 1986 among the gay community of San Francisco and is now a global health problem with 4.1 million new cases/year and 2.8 million deaths/year.
It has massively spread in Asia and Sub-Saharian Africa.
The hypothesis that male circumcision could protect from HIV infection is mentioned in several scientific publications since the very beginning of the epidemic (Fink AJ. A possible explanation for heterosexual male infection with AIDS. N Engl J Med. 1986;315:1167). None of these publications have, until now, shown evidence of the protection acquired from this practice.
In november 2005, Bertran Auvert, a French specialist of infectious diseases from the Ambroise Pare Hospital, published a randomized and controlled trial in which more than 3000 young uncircumcised men, aged 18-24 years old, where divided into two groups, equivalent for all measurable variables. In the first one, subjects where circumcised and the second group was considered as control.
after a 21 months follow-up, there were 21 HIV infections in the intervention group and 49 in the control one.
These results seem to indicate a protective effect against HIV sexual infection of 60%.
This trial is the first to find out scientific evidence of circumcision effects on HIV infection but it also raises economical, medical and ethical problems that need to be solved before setting this procedure as a public health practice.
Citation: Auvert B, Taljaard D, Lagarde E, Sobngwi-Tambekou J, Sitta R, et al. (2005) Randomized, controlled intervention trial of male circumcision for reduction of HIV infection risk: The ANRS 1265 trial. PLoS Med 2(11): e298.
Copyright © 2010 Adam
Does circumcision prevent HIV?
Copyright © 2010 Adam
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