Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Male Circumcision Reduces HIV Risk in Africa

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today that two clinical trials of medically performed male circumcision ended early because interim data showed promising results in halting the spread of HIV acquired through heterosexual intercourse. In Kenya medically circumcised males were 53% less likely to acquire HIV than their uncircumcised counterparts, while in Uganda the reduction rate was 48%. These results do not necessarily apply to the United States, however, since most U.S. males are already circumcised, HIV rates are lower, and most male HIV infections in the U.S. occur in males who have sex with other males. For reactions to these findings, see the World Health Organization's (WHO) statement.