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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Research reveals Circumcised Young African Men are Less Likely to Contract HIV



A new research from the University of Illinois, Chicago, led by Nelli Westercamp, reveals that young African men who are circumcised are less likely to engage in sexual behaviour that increases the chances of getting HIV.
The New York Daily News reports that the new research builds upon previous studies saying that male circumcision lowers the risk of young men in Africa contracting HIV.
However a few experts think that offering circumcision in communities may encourage a drop in the use of condom and a spike in promiscuity.
Nelli Westercamp and her team with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, studied voluntary medical male circumcision in Kenya between 2008 and 2010.
Within 2 years, half of the 3,186  men ages 18-35, studied got circumcised.
All of the men were asked every six months about their sexual behaviours, whether or not they used condoms and how at risk they thought they were for getting HIV. They also attended HIV testing centres.
During the study period, both circumcised and uncircumcised men increased their sexual activity but engagement with multiple partners and exchanging money or gifts for sex did not increase.
Before they got 30% of men thought they were at high risk for HIV, but after, only 14% thought so.
For uncircumcised men, 25% believed they were at high risk of HIV before the study, while 21% believed they were still at high risk when the study ended.
According to the researchers, the numbers suggests that the benefits of offering voluntary circumcision within communities outweigh the risks of doing so.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime.com/ Hongqi Zhang (aka Michael Zhang)
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