Thursday, December 14, 2006

Circumcision helps prevent AIDS

Two trials of around 8,000 men in Uganda and Kenya have revealed a stunning conclusion that circumcision can cut the rate of HIV infection in heterosexual men by 50%. The trials were so overwhelming successful that researchers decided to stop them early so that the men acting as controls, be offered circumcision too. From BBC:
The trial in Kenya found a 53% reduction in new HIV infections in heterosexual men who were circumcised while the Ugandan study reported a drop of 48%.

Results last year from a study in 3,280 heterosexual men in South Africa, which was also stopped early, showed a 60% drop in the incidence of new infections in men who had been circumcised.

There are several reasons why circumcision may protect against HIV infection.

Specific cells in the foreskin may be potential targets for HIV infection and also the skin under the foreskin becomes less sensitive and is less likely to bleed reducing risk of infection following circumcision...

Dr Kevin De Cock, director of the HIV/Aids department of the World Health Organization told the BBC the results were a "significant scientific advance" but were not a magic bullet and would never replace existing prevention strategies.

"We will have to convene a meeting which we hope will happen quite soon to review the data in more detail and have discussions about the implications.

"This is an intervention that must be embedded with all the other interventions and precautions we have. Men must not consider themselves protected. It's a very important intervention to add to our prevention armamentarium."
This is really an amazing discovery. I'm glad I did mine when I was a boy. Ok, off topic here. I don't really like to make fun of people's names but how can one not laugh at the name of the director of the HIV/Aids department in the story above. Dr Kevin De COCK! Dude, you're so perfect for the job.


Anonymous said...

U did yours! Yeay!

Anonymous said...

it is a significant study but to be really safe guys who circumcised should still put on condoms.

for example if there is a cut or so on the penis that he doesn't know about, he can still get AIDS if he doesn't use a condom.

Anonymous said...

Dr Kevin De COCK!

I love his name.

Anonymous said...

How do they do the trials? Get the men who aren't circumcised to keep having sex with women until they get infected???

Anonymous said...

Dr De Cock is delighted I'm sure.