|Specially-trained nurses, Thapelo Mpshane and Ratanang Mathebula, assist with a circumcision procedure on a patient at the Carryou Ministry Clinic in Randfontein.|
Two studies focused on young urban men (ages 18 to 24) in Kenya and South Africa, whereas a third concentrated on a larger cross-section of rural men (ages 15 to 49) in Uganda. Over 11,000 men volunteered for the trials with one group receiving circumcision on enrollment and a control group delaying surgery until the end of the study.
By tracking newly acquired infections in both groups, investigators discovered that circumcision cut HIV transmission rates by 55 to 65 percent. In fact, all three trials were stopped early due to the overwhelming evidence of circumcision's protective effect.
"It was striking that the trials were in very different settings, but yielded consistent results," says Ronald Gray, study leader for the Uganda trial and epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.
"This was the largest protective effect ever seen next to condom use," adds Sten Vermund, director of the Institute for Global Health at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn.ty
Permanent Circumcision Facility
"We see this as another way to serve the community," says Rev. Lawrence Mabaso, Carryou Ministry's General Manager.
Funded by Right to Care and US Aid, the facility makes use of a number of specially trained nurses and a doctor and, in the two months it's operated, around 250 males have been snipped.
"We were involved in a similar project near Johannesburg and felt we could also offer our services in Randfontein which would mean people would not have to travel so far to receive a free service,” says Thapelo Mpshane, one of the nurses at Carryou.
Discussions started with Carryou Ministry and the new project was endorsed.
The service is offered free of charge to all males from age 10 upwards.
"It's quick and easy and life-saving," says Thapelo. "The process requires the patient fill in the relevant forms, receive some counselling, have an HIV test and then have the actual circumcision. The whole thing takes between an hour and ninety minutes."
Patients return for a check up after two days, then seven days and finally at six weeks, after which they may resume sex.
"Because some people live in informal settlements far from the main facility, we offer check up services at Vleikop and Elandsvlei," says Rev. Mabaso. "We urge all men to get circumcised, as it truly can save their lives."
Read this article about AIDS and circumcision. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/circumcision-and-aids/