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Old March 23rd, 2012
DerekV12345 DerekV12345 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 411
Default 2012-03-16 - Kenya: Study Claiming Cut Does Not Inhibit HIV Rejected

Kenya: Study Claiming Cut Does Not Inhibit HIV Rejected
- John Muchangi

Local scientists have dismissed a new study that claims male circumcision does not offer protection against HIV after all.

The study claims the cut increases the spread of HIV/Aids and can only reduce its transmission by 1.3 per cent at most. It faults the methodology of past studies in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa that showed circumcision offers up to 60 per cent protection to HIV negative men in heterosexual relations.

National Aids and STIs Control Programme said the new study is "flawed", lacks proper peer review and was probably influenced by doctors opposing circumcision, a medical lobby that sees the cut as abuse. "WHO experts recommended male circumcision in 2007 after many scientific studies. Such critics have always been there since circumcision began," said Nascop's head of HIV prevention Dr Peter Cherutich.

The dissenting study was published by Australia's Thomson Reuters in their Journal of Law and Medicine. The authors insisted that the WHO/UNAIDS recommendation in 2007 ignored a vast body of contradictory evidence. According to the article, the studies had selection bias, inadequate blinding, problematic randomisation, experimenter bias, lead time bias, supportive bias, participant expectation bias, time-out discrepancy, and lack of investigating of non-sexual HIV transmission among other problems.

However, male circumcision manager at Nascop Dr Athanasius Ochieng says the science behind the cut is irrefutable. "Hardening of foreskin helps in removal of white blood cells that make uncircumcised men more vulnerable to HIV," he told a forum organised by Internews in Nairobi yesterday.

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