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International News

New Phase in AIDS Battle Prompts Strategic Rethink

July 16, 2010

The global portrait of AIDS greeting some 20,000 attendees at the 18th International AIDS Conference next week in Vienna is more optimistic than it has been in years.

"One day, we will have to turn our minds on how to wipe out the virus," said Jean-Francois Delfraissy, director of France's National Agency for AIDS Research.

Among the successes to be chronicled at the conference is the impact of highly active antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, both as a treatment tool and a prevention strategy.

Looking ahead, researchers are encouraged by reports of circumcision's ability to reduce female-to-male HIV transmission

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See Also
More on HIV Treatment in the Developing World
More News on Global HIV/AIDS

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Mark Lyndon (Manchester, UK) Fri., Jul. 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm UTC
Circumcision is a dangerous distraction in the fight against AIDS. There are six African countries where men are *more* likely to be HIV+ if they've been circumcised: Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, and Swaziland. Eg in Malawi, the HIV rate is 13.2% among circumcised men, but only 9.5% among intact men. In Rwanda, the HIV rate is 3.5% among circumcised men, but only 2.1% among intact men. If circumcision really worked against AIDS, this just wouldn't happen. We now have people calling circumcision a "vaccine" or "invisible condom", and viewing circumcision as an alternative to condoms. The South African National Communication Survey on HIV/AIDS, 2009 found that 15% of adults across age groups "believe that circumcised men do not need to use condoms".

The one randomized controlled trial into male-to-female transmission showed a 54% higher rate in the group where the men had been circumcised btw.

ABC (Abstinence, Being faithful, Condoms) is the way forward. Promoting genital surgery will cost African lives, not save them.
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