See also:
» 16.04.2010 - "Invest in a woman, save a child, save the world"
» 28.09.2009 - Stakeholders discuss post-crisis reproductive health needs of populations
» 24.09.2009 - CGI partners announce new commitments to empower girls and women
» 23.09.2009 - Report calls for HIV-sensitive laws and policing to combat AIDS
» 04.09.2009 - Forum promises new action on women’s health and rights
» 05.02.2008 - Renewed fight against FGM
» 02.06.2006 - "Female genital mutilation increases babies' mortality"
» 09.11.2005 - Islam united to stop female genital mutilation











buy from China
Africa
Gender - Women | Health | Science - Education

FGM, circumcision "likely to spread HIV"

afrol News, 26 February - New research dramatically contradicts the popular conclusions of recently published reports, holding that male circumcision protects against contracting AIDS. Scientists looking at male circumcision and female genital mutilation (FGM) practices in Kenya, Lesotho and Tanzania found that the cut in itself was causing many new AIDS cases among adolescents.

The research, published in the March issue of the scientific journal 'Annals of Epidemiology', was carried out by a team of researchers led by Devon Brewer, director of the research firm Interdisciplinary Scientific Research. "We found that circumcised virgins and adolescents in Kenya, Lesotho, and Tanzania were consistently and substantially more likely to be infected with HIV than their uncircumcised counterparts," Mr Brewer said.

The researchers analysed data from the 'Demographic and Health Surveys', which are based on nationally representative samples of adolescents and adults. In the three African countries studied, circumcision is typically performed in adolescence or early adulthood and often in unhygienic circumstances where many individuals are circumcised with shared, unsterilised cutting instruments.

"Sexually experienced male adolescents were no more likely to be infected than adolescent virgins, further highlighting how HIV may be spreading by means other than sex," the researchers concluded.

Mr Brewer said "a key problem with nearly all prior research on circumcision in Africa is that researchers have treated circumcision only as an anatomic characteristic, and not also as a potential exposure to others' blood during the circumcision operation." He continued, "this is striking, because over the last 20 years, many Africans, including children, have warned that HIV can spread through circumcision procedures."

The new results in particular raise questions about how to understand the recent randomised trials of male circumcision in South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda. These studies, in which some uncircumcised men were randomly assigned to be circumcised in presumably sterile conditions and others were not circumcised, showed that male circumcision reduced HIV acquisition.

The popular news reporting of these findings has been widespread in Africa. And the basic message in African media has been that circumcising young boys - and sometimes girls - will protect them from contracting HIV-AIDS. The new study however shows that this conclusion is not only wrong, but also a dangerous message, due to the poor hygienic standards normally applied at circumcision ceremonies.

Mr Brewer said, "If we had known several years ago what we know now from the national surveys, there would not have been a good empirical basis even to conduct the trials. Therefore, it is crucial to investigate thoroughly the possible mechanisms - which are speculative at this point - for the protective effect observed in the trials."

The US researcher and his colleagues finally called for more intensive study of HIV transmission in the context of both traditional and medical circumcision in sub-Saharan Africa.


- Create an e-mail alert for Africa news
- Create an e-mail alert for Gender - Women news
- Create an e-mail alert for Health news
- Create an e-mail alert for Science - Education news


 
    Printable version


On the Afrol News front page now

Rwanda
Rwanda succeeds including citizens in formal financial sector

afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
South Sudan | Sudan
Famine warning: "South Sudan is imploding"

afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
Guinea
Panic in West Africa after Ebola outbreak in Guinea

afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
Ethiopia
Ethiopia tightens its already strict anti-gay laws

afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
Ethiopia
Ethiopia plans Africa's biggest dam

afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.



front page | news | countries | archive | currencies | news alerts login | about afrol News | contact | advertise | español 

©  afrol News. Reproducing or buying afrol News' articles.

   You can contact us at mail@afrol.com