The introduction of medical male circumcision
significantly reduced HIV prevalence in South Africa, according to Bertran
Auvert, MD, PhD, and colleagues, who suggest that the procedure may have
the potential to decrease the spread of HIV in endemic communities if
The researchers conducted a cross-sectional survey in
2007 before the Orange Farm project and another in 2010, after
the project was implemented. They assessed the effect the program had on the
spread of HIV for 3 years among participants aged 15 to 49 years. HIV
prevalence and incidence was compared among circumcised and uncircumcised men
from the 2010 survey.
Compared with the baseline prevalence of medical male
circumcision (15.6%), circumcision increased to 49.4% during the study period.
Uncircumcised men had an HIV prevalence of 20% vs.
6.2% among circumcised men (P<.001).
The researchers hypothesized that
HIV prevalence among men aged 15 to 49 years would
have been 25.1% higher (95% CI, 13.1-39.1) and 61% higher among men aged 15 to
34 years (95% CI, 23-152) without the circumcision program.
This study demonstrates that adult male
circumcision works to reduce the spread of HIV in an African community highly
affected by the epidemic, Auvert, of the University of Versailles in
France, said in a press release. Reducing the number of new infections
with adult male circumcision will save lives and reduce the need for
For more information:
- Auvert B. #WELBC02. Presented at: The 6th IAS Conference on HIV
Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention; July 17-20, 2011; Rome.