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September 30, 2011

Circumcision Efforts to Curb HIV in Africa Off to Slow Start

Circumcision lowers HIV risk by 60 percent or more among African men, but this proven prevention method is being implemented on that continent much slower than the international health authorities recommended, The New York Times reports. The goal is to circumcise 20 million men in 14 countries by 2015, but so far only about 600,000 men, less than 3 percent, have had the procedure. In South Africa, the epidemic’s epicenter, about 5.6 million people have HIV, but only 145,000 circumcisions have been performed; the goal is 4.3 million. American officials say reaching the goal of 20 million circumcisions would cost about $2 billion but would save $16.5 billion by preventing 4 million infections. Kenya and Tanzania, however, are making great strides, and experts see promising starts in Zimbabwe, Rwanda, South Africa and elsewhere.

To read the Times article, click here.

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