In response to the urgent need to reduce the number of new HIV infections globally male circumcision should be recommended for the prevention of HIV infection.
Male circumcision should always be considered as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention package, which includes
– the provision of HIV testing and counselling services;
– treatment for sexually transmitted infections;
– the promotion of safer sex practices; and
– the provision of male and female condoms and promotion of their correct and consistent use.
Counselling of men and their sexual partners is necessary to prevent them from developing a false sense of security and engaging in high-risk behaviours that could undermine the partial protection provided by male circumcision. Furthermore, male circumcision service provision was seen as a major opportunity to address the frequently neglected sexual health needs of men.
“Being able to recommend an additional HIV prevention method is a significant step towards getting ahead of this epidemic,” said Catherine Hankins, Associate Director, Department of Policy, Evidence and Partnerships at UNAIDS. “However, we must be clear: Male circumcision does not provide complete protection against HIV. Men and women who consider male circumcision as an HIV preventive method must continue to use other forms of protection such as male and female condoms, delaying sexual debut and reducing the number of sexual partners.”