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July 06, 2005

The second most affective prevention of AIDS...circumcision

From the Wall Street Journal via AZCentral.com:

In a potentially major breakthrough in the campaign against AIDS, French and South African researchers have apparently found that male circumcision reduces by about 70 percent the risk that men will contract HIV through intercourse with infected women.

Other than abstinence and safer sex, almost nothing has been proved to reduce the sexual spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. World-wide, the major route of HIV transmission for many years has been heterosexual sex.

Vaccine developers have said they would consider an AIDS vaccine with just 30 percent efficacy useful. But so far, no effective vaccine against the disease has been developed, leaving AIDS workers desperate for another tool to help them stem the tide of new infections, estimated at almost five million last year.

The circumcision findings were so dramatic that the data and safety monitoring board overseeing the research halted the study in February, about nine months before it would have been completed, on the grounds that it would be immoral to proceed without offering the uncircumcised control group the opportunity to undergo the procedure. While men were directly protected from infection by circumcision, women could benefit indirectly because circumcision would reduce the chances their partners would be HIV-positive.

Interesting. The most affective means of preventing AIDS, of course, remains the practice of being abstinent until monogamous.

Posted by Danny Carlton at July 6, 2005 07:32 AM

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