Sunday, February 10, 2008

Circumcision: SA men ‘not snipped properly’

Published:Feb 10, 2008

UP TO half of circumcised South African men did not undergo the procedure “properly”, leaving them more at risk of contracting HIV than men who went under the scalpel in a clinical setting.

This was one of several findings presented to an international conference in the US this week, attended by the world’s top HIV/Aids researchers.

Recent research worldwide has shown that male circumcision may decrease the chance of contracting HIV, which targets cells in the foreskin.

The World Health Organisation last year recommended circumcision as an effective intervention in the fight against Aids.

French researcher Dr Bertran Auvert of Versailles University suggested this week that 40% to 50% of circumcisions in Southern Africa were only “ritual” or “partial” circumcisions — where the foreskin was not completely removed.

HIV trials conducted in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda showed that only clinical circumcision could reduce the risk of males getting HIV, said Auvert.

“What I know is that not all who say that they call themselves ‘circumcised’ are clinically circumcised,” he said. “In fact their penises are completely intact.”

Of the estimated 165 million men in Sub-Saharan Africa, about 54 million (33%) were uncircumcised, Auvert said.

He detailed a plan for a massive circumcision roll-out in sub-Saharan Africa.