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International News

Malawi Rules Out Circumcision for AIDS Prevention

September 16, 2010

The government of Malawi will not promote male circumcision to fight HIV because there is not enough evidence to show it protects against the virus, two officials said Wednesday. Mary Shaba, the principal secretary for HIV and AIDS, said there is no scientific proof of circumcision's protective effect. Bernard Malango, a bishop emeritus in the Anglican Church, said HIV prevalence is high even in parts of the country where the practice is common. However, several studies in Africa have shown that male circumcision, when properly performed, reduces the risk of female-to-male HIV transmission by up to 60 percent. Citing this research, the UN said last year that universal male circumcision in sub-Saharan Africa could prevent 5.7 million new HIV infections and 3 million deaths over 20 years.

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Malawi

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Myles Helfand (TheBody.com) Tue., Sep. 21, 2010 at 2:27 pm EDT
Yknow, not for nothing, but I was circumcised just after I was born, and I don't feel disfigured or mutilated. I'm quite happy about it, really.
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Comment by: John (California) Tue., Sep. 21, 2010 at 11:26 am EDT
"Citing this research, the UN said last year that universal tooth removal in the US could prevent 5.7 million new dental caries over 20 years."

Logical? No. We have toothbrushes and toothpaste to prevent cavities. And we have condoms to prevent HIV transmission. Wake up UN, shame on you for attempting to peddle the butchery of disfiguring and irreversible male genital mutilation.
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Comment by: Restoring Tally (USA) Sat., Sep. 18, 2010 at 3:42 pm EDT
The government of Malawi is smart to question the efficacy of male circumcision. First, where is the real world proof that male circumcision is reducing HIV? There should be some real world evidence by now. Where is it?

Second, there was one study of Ugandans that found that the female HIV infection rate increased when the female had sex with circumcised men. Should we try to protect men at the expense of women?
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