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Circumcision could save millions from HIV infection

Egyptian circumcisionMale circumcision could prevent millions of HIV infections every year and play a major role in controlling the virus' spread in developing nations, a major AIDS conference was told Tuesday.

US researcher Richard Bailey called on health authorities to actively promote circumcision, saying the scientific evidence left no doubt that it could reduce HIV infection rates by up to 60 percent.

Bailey, from the University of Illinois, said three studies in Africa had all confirmed a long-standing belief about the effectiveness of circumcision in reducing the risk of HIV infection.

"The last two were actually stopped early because they showed such a high level of efficacy that it wouldn't be ethical to continue the trial and withhold circumcision from the control group," Bailey told reporters at the International AIDS Society conference in Sydney.

Source: Brisbanetimes
Image: SciDev
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This is so shady, though, isn't it??? Why, why, why, does circumcision "prevent" HIV infection? Langerhans cells are found elsewhere in the body (cervix, ureter), and have been shown to exert a protective function against viral attacks - so why are we clinging to the few studies that indicate the opposite? I'm just so confused...

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