Researcher Addresses Calls for Increased Focus on Male Circumcision, Partner Reduction Programs as Part of HIV Prevention in Africa
NPR's "News & Notes" on Tuesday included a discussion with Daniel Halperin, a senior research scientist in the Department of Population and International Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, about a recent study that recommended a shift in HIV prevention strategies in Africa toward the promotion of male circumcision and partner reduction programs.
Halperin, a co-author of the study, said, "We're not in any way advocating for the termination of programs that promote condoms, or for HIV testing, or for treating of other sexually transmitted infections, or for abstinence. We feel all those approaches have some value."
He added, "But in terms of really trying to reduce the epidemic, in terms of really trying to bring down the rate of new infections, these approaches appear to have had relatively little impact" compared with partner reduction programs.
Halperin also discussed demand for male circumcision in African countries, the relationship between HIV/AIDS, poverty and gender inequality on the continent, attention in the media to HIV/AIDS issues and a Ugandan program that promotes a reduction in partners (Chideya, "News & Notes," NPR, 5/27).