Circumcision :: New York City to promote circumcision to reduce HIV spread

New York City’s health officials and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene are planning a campaign to encourage men at high risk of AIDS to get circumcised to prevent the spread of HIV infection.

World Health Organization – WHO recently endorsed the circumcision procedure as an effective way to prevent the disease AIDS.

WHO is planning to encourage countries to expand male circumcision as a method of controlling HIV spread. According to two recent large human studies, circumcision can reduce a man’s risk of becoming infected with the AIDS virus by approximately 50%. A human trial in Kenya showed that circumcised men had a 53% lower chance of becoming infected with the AIDS virus, compared to non-circumcised men. Another trial in Uganda showed the infection risk was 48% lower for circumcised men.

Male circumcision significantly reduces the risk of acquiring HIV in young African men, according to a study led by University of Illinois at Chicago professor of epidemiology Robert Bailey.

“Circumcision is by no means a natural condom,” said Bailey. “We do know that some circumcised men become infected with HIV. But we did find that the circumcised men in our study did not increase their risk behaviors after circumcision. In fact, all men in the trial increased their condom use and reduced their number of sexual partners.”

In the United States, circumcision in infant boys is performed for social, medical, or cultural/religious reasons. Once a routine operation urged by pediatricians and obstetricians for newborns in the middle of the twentieth century, circumcision has become an elective option that parents make for their sons on an individual basis.

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