TORONTO — Circumcision could have a ‘staggering’ effect on the control of HIV worldwide, but the challenge will be convincing men to have it done, former U.S. president Bill Clinton said yesterday. Scientists at the world’s largest AIDS gathering in Toronto reported more evidence that removing the male foreskin appears to dramatically reduce the risk of HIV infection. An ongoing study of tea plantation residents in Kericho, Kenya, found dramatically lower HIV rates among circumcised men versus uncircumcised men after two years of followup. Other researchers reported that circumcision would cost $181 for every HIV infection averted and that 32,000 to 53,000 infections could be prevented in Soweto alone over the next 20 years if more men were circumcised. And, despite serious concerns that men who are circumcised would adopt more risky sexual behaviours, a study of 324 recently circumcised men in Kenya found no excess of reported risky sex. Mr. Clinton told delegates that, if it works, circumcision could be a powerful means to reduce the devastating global burden of HIV. ‘We should all be prepared for a green light that could have a staggering effect on the male population.’ A randomized […]

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