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February 9, 2012

New Devices Seek Easier Circumcision for HIV Prevention

The World Health Organization (WHO) is evaluating a range of experimental devices to make male circumcision faster and easier, The New York Times reports. The leading candidate, an Israeli invention named PrePex, requires neither surgery nor anesthesia. Instead, it clamps the foreskin between a rubber band and a plastic ring to cut off circulation so that the foreskin dies and, after a week, either falls off or is clipped away. Testing indicates that trained medical personnel using PrePex will be able to perform five times as many circumcisions as with conventional surgery, with little pain or risk of infection. The WHO is also studying a similar device called the Shang Ring, which does require minor surgery but is significantly quicker than a standard circumcision. African health authorities aim to circumcise 15 million men by 2015, as circumcision reduces the risk of HIV for men by 60 percent. However, trained medical personnel are at a premium in many African countries hit hard by HIV, greatly impeding mass circumcision efforts.

To read the Times article, click here.

Search: HIV, World Health Organization, WHO, transmission, circumcision, PrePex, Shang Ring

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Mark Lyndon, , 2012-03-16 06:24:37
In 6 African countries, 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. If circumcision really worked against AIDS, this just wouldn't happen. The one RCT into male-to-female transmission showed a 54% higher rate in the circumcised group btw. ABC is the way forward. Promoting circumcision will cost African lives, not save them.

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