South Africa and other African nations should consider mass male circumcision to slow the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, researchers said at an AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
Neil Martinson of South Africa's perinatal HIV/AIDS research unit said that circumcision could reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 60%, although it did not offer total protection from the virus.
“I think this is very conclusive evidence,” he said. Noting what he called a deafening silence toward circumcision on the part of South Africa's administration, Mr Martinson urged it and other African governments to consider expanding the number of circumcisions carried out in hospitals and clinics. Circumcision is less common in southern and eastern Africa than in northern African and most parts of western Africa (www.reuters.co.uk).