By Thabile Maphanga
JOHANNESBURG, July 26 – New data show that male circumcision contributes to a reduction in the number of new HIV infections in women.
Previous studies have proven that circumcision is beneficial for men as it reduces HIV infection among them by 60 per cent but the new data show that it also helps reduce infection among women since less men are infected.
The latest findings were announced at the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne following a study conducted in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg.
The results follow three studies conducted in 2007, 2010 and 2012 in Orange Farm which recorded blood test results, sexual behaviour and circumcision status of male sexual partners.
The study compared HIV prevalence in women who only had circumcised sexual partners with those who only had uncircumcised sexual partners.
Thirty percent of those who had circumcised partners had an HIV prevalence of 18 per cent while the figure was twice as high in those with uncircumcised partners at 30 per cent.
It further revealed that the rate of new HIV infections in women who only had circumcised partners was 20 per cent lower than women who had uncircumcised male partners.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations AIDS Agency (UNAids) recommended circumcision as a complementary strategy in the prevention of HIV infection in men seven years ago.