A remarkable trial conducted in Orange Farm, South Africa, concluded that male circumcision could considerably reduce HIV infection. As an extension of this trial, the researchers studied the economical aspects of this approach in preventing HIV/AIDS.
The results of this new research is published in PLoS Medicine, and suggests that circumcision could reduce the cost of health care in South Africa, mainly through savings on the cost of HIV treatment.
The researchers carried out a set of calculations, using the results from their major 'Orange Farm trialâTM, and making other assumptions based on data from elsewhere. Their mathematical model was based on a hypothetical group of 1,000 men, all of whom would be circumcised. The researchers calculated that in such a hypothetical group, the cost of providing male circumcision, per HIV infection prevented, would be around $180. Overall, this procedure seemed to be cost saving when the cost of HIV treatment was considered; around $2.4 million would be saved for the 1,000 men circumcised.
The overall cost of male circumcision, per HIV infection prevented, is reasonable as compared to the costs of other strategies for prevention of HIV. There would also be implications for HIV prevention programs in other African countries.