Perspective Piece Examines Male Circumcision as Method of HIV Prevention
"Is Male Circumcision as Good as the HIV Vaccine We've Been Waiting For?" Future Medicine: Jeffrey Klausner, associate clinical professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco, and colleagues in the January issue of Future Medicine examined male circumcision as a method of preventing the spread of HIV through heterosexual sex. According to the authors, male circumcision is the "only modality for preventing" sexual HIV transmission that has been proven to work by the "highest standards of scientific evidence." Unlike a potential HIV vaccine or some other prevention measures, male circumcision also has been shown to "eliminate or significantly reduce" the risk of transmitting several other infections and medical conditions, the authors write. The media "[i]mmediately ... should report on the great impact" that the implementation of male circumcision programs could bring, the authors write, adding that UNAIDS "should announce the creation of a [male circumcision] desk to promote and monitor safe" procedures. Researchers "can and must educate and share with the public the knowledge" of the protective benefits of male circumcision, as well as the "potential risks and limitations" of the procedure, the authors write. They add that male circumcision "works," concluding that they "believe it is at least as good as the HIV vaccine we have been waiting for, praying for and hoping to see in our lifetimes" (Klausner et al., Future Medicine, January 2008).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.