Male circumcision for HIV prevention: From evidence to action?
Available from: ajol.info
- "http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ajid.v10i1.1 2 treatment, its existing prevalence in West Africa and among African Muslims, social acceptability, and its continuous effect with every act of intercourse (Anonymous, 2007; Halperin and Epstein, 2007; Potts et al., 2008; Weiss et al., 2008). "
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ABSTRACT: Background: The failure to stem HIV in sub-Saharan Africa and the unique epidemiological modes of infection within this region have demonstrated that unique strategies for combatting the virus are required. This review article discusses why international AIDS campaigns in sub- Saharan Africa have largely been unsuccessful, and what, if any, strategies have worked.Methods: Articles were compiled using Web of Science and Google Scholar search ngines.Results: Inspired by past successes in the West and in Southeast Asia, Western AIDS initiatives have attempted to replicate these results within the African continent through ‘risk reduction’ approaches, vying to reduce the probability of HIV transmission per coital act via physical or biochemical barriers such as condoms, male circumcision, antiretroviral therapy, post-exposure prophylactic drugs, and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. However, more than three decades of research have demonstrated that the most successful strategies were African-inspired, relied on local resources with minimal Western support, culturally relevant, and used social engineering programs that dismantled networks of sexual relationships by promoting the practice of abstinence, reducing the number of sexual partners, discouraging multiple and concurrent relationships, delaying sexual debut, and maintaining mutually monogamous relationships.Conclusion: Known through the mnemonic ‘ABC’ (Abstinence, Be faithful, Condoms), this strategy was first implemented in Uganda, yielding remarkable successes both in Uganda and thereafter in other African nations in stemming HIV. AIDS agencies should support and encourage programs that use this culturally sensitive, low cost, and effective strategy.
Available from: Khai Hoan Tram
- "Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) has emerged as one of the most effective means of preventing HIV transmission in countries of Eastern and Southern Africa . Based on the results of three clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of male circumcision in reducing HIV transmission (by approximately 60%), the World Health Organization and the Joint United National Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) issued recommendations in 2007 that countries should include medical MC as part of HIV prevention interventions and that implementation should be prioritized to areas with low MC and high HIV prevalence . "
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Despite the importance of male circumcision (MC) prevalence to HIV prevention efforts in Eastern and Southern Africa, there has been no systematic analysis on the correlates of male circumcision. This analysis identifies correlates of MC in 12 countries in the region with available data.
Data from the male questionnaire of DHS surveys collected between 2006–2011 in Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe were analyzed. The dependent variable was self-reported male circumcision status. Independent variables included age, education, wealth quintile, place of residence, ethnicity, religion and region. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted separately for each country.
MC prevalence ranged from 8.2 percent in Swaziland to 92.2 percent in Ethiopia. Bivariate analyses showed a consistent positive association between age (being older) and male circumcision. Education, wealth quintile, and place of residence were either not significantly related or differed in the direction of the relationship by country. Multivariate logistic regression showed three variables consistently associated with MC status: age (being older), religion (being Muslim) and ethnicity.
These data were collected prior to the scale-up of voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) programs in 11 of the 12 countries. As the VMMC scale-up intensifies in countries across Eastern and Southern Africa, the correlates of VMMC are likely to change, with (younger) age and education emerging as key correlates of VMMC performed in medical settings. The centuries-long tradition among Muslims to circumcise should continue to favor MC among this group. Non-circumcising ethnicities may become more open to MC if promoted as a health practice for decreasing HIV risk.
Available from: Brian Morris
- "A textbook on meta-analyses  and a review of methods and techniques in meta-analyses  use this meta-analysis as an illustrative example of how Simpson's paradox can lead to incorrect results. Subsequent, correctly performed, metaanalyses found male circumcision to have a strong protective effect against HIV infection  . "
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ABSTRACT: We critically evaluate a recent article by Van Howe involving 12 meta-analyses that concludes, contrary to current evidence, that male circumcision increases the risk of various common sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Our detailed scrutiny reveals that these meta-analyses (1) failed to include results of all relevant studies, especially data from randomized controlled trials, (2) introduced bias through use of inappropriate control groups, (3) altered original data, in the case of human papillomavirus (HPV), by questionable adjustments for "sampling bias," (4) failed to control for confounders through use of crude odds ratios, and (5) used unnecessarily complicated methods without adequate explanation, so impeding replication by others. Interventions that can reduce the prevalence of STIs are important to international health. Of major concern is the global epidemic of oncogenic types of HPV that contribute to the burden of genital cancers. Meta-analyses, when well conducted, can better inform public health policy and medical practice, but when seriously flawed can have detrimental consequences. Our critical evaluation leads us to reject the findings and conclusions of Van Howe on multiple grounds. Our timely analysis thus reaffirms the medical evidence supporting male circumcision as a desirable intervention for STI prevention.
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