Study: Circumcision and fidelity are best tools in Africa’s AIDS fight

Condoms and abstinence education are less effective in fighting Africa's HIV pandemic.

BY admin

April 26 2006 11:00 PM ET

AIDS researcher
Daniel Halperin and colleagues, having analyzed data from
20 years of HIV studies conducted in Africa, are now saying
that circumcision and fidelity are the two best
methods to fight HIV in Africa, the Chicago
Tribune
reports. Presenting study data at the
Southern African HIV Clinicians Society meeting in
Johannesburg, South Africa, Halperin, an adviser for the
U.S. Agency for International Development, said
circumcision appears to reduce HIV transmission levels
by 60% to 75%. That, coupled with monogamy, appeared
to be much more effective in fighting the spread of HIV than
abstinence education or condom use. Abstinence campaigns, he
said, merely delayed sexual activity by African youth
by a year or two.

Condom use is
sporadic among African men, particularly by men with steady
sex partners, which limits its effectiveness in slowing
HIV’s spread, Halperin said study data show.
Condoms are effective, however, in lowering HIV
transmission rates among sex workers and their clients, he
said, pointing to such successes in lowering HIV
transmission rates in Senegal and Ghana.

Studies also
showed that encouraging people to learn their HIV serostatus
and to treat sexually transmitted diseases, which can make
HIV infection easier, also had little effect in
lowering HIV transmission rates. (The Advocate)

Tags: Health

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