Circumcision Might Be Effective In Africa, But Not Elsewhere

by Gopalan on  February 6, 2010 at 11:07 AM AIDS/HIV News
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 Circumcision Might Be Effective In Africa, But Not Elsewhere
A team of Australian researchers have shown that the much talked about circumcision could be effective for African males, but not perhaps elsewhere.

Setting out to "assess the safety and efficacy of nontherapeutic male circumcision," the researchers with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons searched The York Centre for Reviews and Disseminations, Cochrane Library, PubMed, and EMBASE databases for randomized controlled trials published between January 1997 and August 2008.

Studies reporting on circumcision in an operative setting in males of any age with no contraindications to or medical indications for circumcision were eligible for inclusion. The main comparator was intact genitalia. From 73 retrieved studies, 8 randomized controlled trials were ultimately included for analysis.

Results showed, "Severe complications were uncommon. Analgesia/anesthesia during circumcision was promoted. The prevalence of self-reported genital ulcers was significantly lower in circumcised men than uncircumcised men. Circumcised sub-Saharan African men were at significantly lower risk of acquiring human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome than were uncircumcised men. The evidence suggests that adult circumcision does not affect sexual satisfaction and function. "

At the same, the researchers reported in the Annals of Family Medicine, "Strong evidence suggests circumcision can prevent human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome acquisition in sub-Saharan African men. These findings remain uncertain in men residing in other countries. The role of adult nontherapeutic male circumcision in preventing sexually transmitted infections, urinary tract infections, and penile cancer remains unclear. Current evidence fails to recommend widespread neonatal circumcision for these purposes."

The research was led by Caryn L Perera of the Australian Safety and Efficacy Register of New Interventional Procedures - Surgical (ASERNIP-S), a program of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Some critics dispute the claim that adult circumcision does not affect sexual satisfaction. Many have reported otherwise, they say and suggest further research on the issue.

Source: Medindia

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Circumcision is a dangerous distraction in the fight against AIDS. There are six African countries where men are *more* likely to be HIV+ if they've been circumcised: Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, and Swaziland. Eg in Malawi, the HIV rate is 13.2% among circumcised men, but only 9.5% among intact men. In Rwanda, the HIV rate is 3.5% among circumcised men, but only 2.1% among intact men. If circumcision really worked against AIDS, this just wouldn't happen. We now have people calling circumcision a "vaccine" or "invisible condom", and viewing circumcision as an alternative to condoms. The South African National Communication Survey on HIV/AIDS, 2009 found that 15% of adults across age groups "believe that circumcised men do not need to use condoms".

The one randomized controlled trial into male-to-female transmission showed a 54% higher rate in the group where the men had been circumcised btw.

ABC (Abstinence, Being faithful, Condoms) is the way forward. Promoting genital surgery will cost African lives, not save them.

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