UN Fights AIDS With Male Circumcision

A high-profile panel of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UNAIDS recommended on Wednesday, March 28, male circumcision as an effective tool to curb the spread of the deadly HIV/AIDS.

UN Fights AIDS With Male Circumcision

A high-profile panel of experts fromthe World Health Organization (WHO) and the UNAIDS recommended on Wednesday,March 28, male circumcision as an effective tool to curb the spread of thedeadly HIV/AIDS.

"Male circumcision should be part of acomprehensive HIV prevention package," reads the final conclusion postedon UNAIDS website.

The WHO and UNAIDS have convened the expertconsultation in response to the urgent need to reduce the number of HIVinfections globally.

The two-day consultation held earlier this month wasthe most comprehensive ever held over the practice.

"Based on the evidence presented, which wasconsidered to be compelling, experts attending the consultation recommendedthat male circumcision now be recognized as an additional importantintervention to reduce the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection inmen."

The UN experts affirmed that cells on the insideforeskin of the penis, the part cut off in circumcision, are particularlysusceptible to HIV.

Some 30 percent of men worldwide are currentlycircumcised.

Circumcision is a confirmed Sunnah in Islam as anact pertaining to fitrah (pure human nature).

The practice is also familiar among Jewishcommunities.

Others use the practice for hygiene purposes, generallyamong infant boys.

Significant Step

Experts hailed the findings as a huge step in theway to halt the incurable epidemic, especially in the worst-hit countries.

"These recommendations represent a significantstep forward in HIV prevention," said Kevin de Cock, the WHO's directorfor HIV/AIDS programs.

"Countries with high rates of heterosexual HIVinfection and low rates of male circumcision now have an additionalintervention which can reduce the risk of HIV infection in heterosexualmen," he added.

"However, it will be a number of years beforewe can expect to see an impact on the epidemic from such investment."

Sub-Saharan Africaremains the hardest-hit region for HIV, with 25 million people affected, makingup more than 60% of people living with HIV worldwide.

In the 10-page recommendations, WHO and UNAIDSasserted that increasing male circumcisions could prevent 5.7 millionsub-Saharan African men from contracting HIV over the next two decades, andsave 3 million lives.

Their findings concurred with a recent researchconducted in South Africa bythe France'sNational Agency for research on AIDS and found that circumcision reduced HIVinfection by 60 percent.

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) figures also showthat 3.7 million AIDS infections and 2.7 million deaths could be averted overthe next 20 years if male circumcision is added to multi-preventativestrategies already in place.

* Click hereto read the UN recommendations.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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