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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

 


 
  

Circumcision Seen as Method to Block HIV Infection"
Reuters (03.26.04)

CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Monday, April 05, 2004
      A recent study shows that circumcised men are less likely to
contract HIV for biological, not behavioral, reasons. Previous studies
have shown that men whose foreskin was removed are six to eight times
less likely to become HIV-positive, but scientists debated about the
reason.
     Researchers at Johns Hopkins University Medical School-Baltimore
found circumcision has a protective effect against HIV, but not against
other STDs such as syphilis and gonorrhea. "The specificity of this
relation suggests a biological rather than behavioral explanation for
the protective effect of male circumcision against HIV," Dr. Robert
Bollinger wrote in the Lancet.


    


     Bollinger and co-authors studied men in India, where circumcision
is not common, between 1993-2000. All of the 2,298 study participants
were attending one of three STD clinics and were HIV-negative at the
study's start. Researchers assessed the men's HIV status and risk
behavior regularly.
     Because circumcision did not prevent the men from contracting
other STDs, Bollinger believes the study supports the hypothesis that
HIV protection derives from the removal of the foreskin, which contains
cells with HIV receptors that scientists suspect are the primary entry
point for HIV into the penis. "Our results suggest that the foreskin
has an important role in the biology of sexual transmission of HIV,"
Bollinger said.
     Bollinger and his team have called for clinical trials, where
circumcision is culturally acceptable, to assess the safety and
effectiveness of the practice as a tool against HIV/AIDS. They also
stressed the need for new compounds to block the virus's entry into the
cell.
     The study, "Male Circumcision and Risk of HIV-1 and Other Sexually
Transmitted Infections in India," appeared in the Lancet
(2004;363(9414):1039-1040).        

 

 

 

 

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