Male circumcision lowers HIV risk for women, forum told

File photo of a nurse taking a blood sample in a mobile clinic set up to test students for HIV at a school near Mtubatuba in Kwazulu Natal, South AfricaA campaign to promote male circumcision to prevent AIDS infection also indirectly benefits women by reducing their risk of contracting the HIV virus, according to a study presented at the world AIDS forum Friday. In a South African community where large numbers of men had been circumcised, women who only had sex with circumcised partners had a 15-percent-lower risk of being infected by HIV compared with women who also had uncircumcised partners, it found. "The risk reduction is small, but it is a start," said investigator Kevin Jean of France's National Agency for AIDS Research (ANRS). The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends voluntary circumcision as an option for men in 14 sub-Saharan countries struggling with high rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).



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