circumcision is one of the most powerful interventions that is currently
available in the fight against HIV, according to an article published in the Medical
Journal of Australia.
Alex Wodak, Director of Alcohol and Drug Service at St Vincent's Hospital,
Professor David Cooper, Director of the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and
Clinical Research, and Professor Brian Morris, Professor of Molecular Medical
Sciences at the University of Sydney discuss introducing circumcision as a
long-term strategy to reduce heterosexual HIV transmission.
Wodak said that Australia should change policy so that infant male circumcision
rates are boosted in the face of rising heterosexual transmissions of HIV.
wealth of research has shown that the foreskin is the entry point that allows
HIV to infect men during intercourse with an infected female partner," Dr Wodak
after the HIV pandemic was first recognised, much lower HIV prevalence was
found in areas of sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 80 per cent of males had
been circumcised than in areas where the circumcision rate was less than 20 per
of males is now referred to by many as 'surgical vaccine' against a wide
variety of infections and adverse medical conditions over the lifetime.
public health benefits include protection not just from sexually transmitted
HIV, but also from some common sexually transmitted infections and other
prospect of the availability of a vaccine over the next 20 years is unlikely.
Thus, circumcision now to prevent heterosexual HIV transmission in 2030 makes
should be viewed as part of a safer sex package. Condom use remains essential,
with promotion of condom use plus circumcision of males being analogous to
seatbelts plus airbags for reducing the road toll.
years after the existence of this epidemic was first announced, it is clear
that a new chapter has opened with the recognition that male circumcision
substantially reduces female-to-male HIV transmission.
would be wise to take advantage of this knowledge," Dr Wodak said.
The Medical Journal of Australia
publication of the Australian Medical Association.