Male Circumcision Helps Prevent HIV
Amid the ongoing debate in Europe on whether circumcision violates a boy's rights, an international research team concluded that male circumcision significantly cuts down the spread of HIV and of all its variants. The researchers studied the HIV virus in Africa and its variant, HIV-2.
The researchers had state funding from Belgium. They gathered and cross-examined results from surveys on the prevalence of HIV-2 in 30 cities in West African countries, and circumcision rates of 218 males of West African ethnic groups. This study showed that the variant HIV-2 may have emerged and spread in rural areas exposed to bushmeat such as meat of wild animals. HIV-2 do not have significant numbers of study focused on it, unlike HIV-1, but it is nevertheless considered a public health threat since it has spread worldwide, the Times of Israel says.
The researchers noted that is has probably infected more than 1 million people. In the late 1980s, two studies have shown a strong link between HIV-1 prevalence and male circumcision in Africa. This finding have been replicated several times for most developing countries of the world.
The study reaffirming the positive outcome of circumcision in preventing HIV comes amid a continuing debate in Europe on whether the traditional practice, when performed for religious reasons on boys younger than 18, is a violation of their rights. Some people opposing the custom have argued that it carries no medical benefits, the HAARETZ says. However, in 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics said that circumcision have greater benefits that outweigh the risks.
Included in the benefits are reduction of the risks of HIV infection, urinary tract infection, and even penile cancer. Other studies related to circumcision have been conducted in Denmark. They focus on the justification of outlawing male circumcision in Muslim and Jews, and the diminished sexual pleasure brought by the practice.
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