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Male circumcision and global HIV/AIDS epidemic challenges

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Background: Given the devastating mortality and morbidity associated with HIV/AIDS, many potential prevention measures against HIV infection continue to be explored. Most prevention methods are in the realm of sexual behavior change. However, of all aspects of human behavior, it is sexual behavior that is least amenable to change. Newer and simpler interventions are therefore required. Male circumcision, the surgical removal of some or all of the foreskin (or prepuce) from the penis, is one of the ways being promoted as a preventive measure. This paper reviews the scientific basis and evidence for the efficacy of male circumcision within the context of the global challenges involved. Main body: We reviewed articles with emphasis on male circumcision and HIV/AIDS transmission. Published abstracts of presentations at international scientific meetings were also reviewed. Conclusions: Current epidemiological evidence supports the promotion of male circumcision for HIV prevention, especially in populations with high HIV prevalence and low circumcision rates. Three notable randomized control trials strengthen the case for applied research studies to demonstrate that safe male circumcision is protective at the population level, particularly as ideal and well-resourced conditions of a randomized trial are often not replicated in other service delivery settings. Ethically and culturally responsive strategies in promoting circumcision in a culturally heterogenous world need to be developed, too. Male circumcision should also be viewed as a complementary measure along with other proven approaches to turn the HIV/AIDS epidemic around.




Olapade-Olaopa, E. O., Salami, M. A., & Lawal, T. A. (2019, December 1). Male circumcision and global HIV/AIDS epidemic challenges. African Journal of Urology. Springer.

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