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Thursday, March 29th 2007

Snip, Snip

Following more impressive figures on circumcision’s ability to help prevent HIV infection the World Health Organization is recommending it as a frontline therapy for all males in high risk areas.

The World Health Organization recommended Wednesday that circumcision immediately become part of the frontline strategy to combat AIDS — a move that the group said could save millions of lives.

The recommendation were presented by WHO and United Nations officials after an international meeting on AIDS and circumcision this month in Montreux, Switzerland.

They were based on recent studies from Kenya, Uganda and South Africa that found circumcising heterosexual men reduced their risk of HIV infection by about 60%.

The benefit would be greatest in countries with widespread epidemics and low rates of circumcision, such as those in southern and eastern Africa, the WHO said.

“If we had a vaccine this effective, people would be very enthusiastic,” [Dr. Maria J. Wawer] said.