Circumcision is a proven intervention that reduces the chance of contracting HIV by 60%, but to scientists’ surprise, a study has found that medically circumcised older men in Mpumalanga had a higher rate of HIV than uncircumcised men. The findings appear to suggest that it needs to be communicated to both men and women that circumcision does not offer 100% protection against HIV. The study, published in the PLOS ONE journal on August 1, was conducted by Indiana University professors Molly Rosenberg and Till Barnighausen from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, together with professors Kathleen Kahn and Stephen Tollman from the Wits Rural Health in Transition and Agincourt Research Unit. The researchers surveyed about 2,345 Mpumalanga men, who were 40 years and older.

Rosenberg and Barnighausen say it is important to note that circumcision still works to reduce the risk of contracting HIV, with more than 27 studies showing this. Three independently conducted randomise...

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