Govt should explore acceptability of circumcision: HIV experts

Mumbai, Feb 11 (PTI) Male circumcision can be apreventive tool against the HIV, and government should findout if it would be acceptable to the society, experts feel.

Rate of HIV infections is coming down, but thedevelopment of a vaccine is still a remote prospect, so otherpreventive methods should be considered, says a researchpaper presented at a recently-concluded conference on HIV.

"As male circumcision has emerged as an effective HIVprevention option there is a need to explore its acceptabilityin India," the preliminary report prepared by researchers fromPune-based National AIDS Research Institute (NARI), says.

The group of researchers was headed by Dr Seema Sahay.

But the group also found, upon analysis of a study doneby a task-force set up by Indian Council of Medical Research,that people would find it hard to accept circumcision for thepurpose of HIV prevention.

"Therefore, focus would be needed on developing thecommunication strategies around translating evidence intocommunity-friendly messages on efficiency of male circumcisionto prevent HIV among men," report says.

While doing this, cultural issues and traditionalsensitivities should be taken into account, it adds. Thereport was presented at the International Conference onEmerging Frontiers and challenges in HIV/AIDS Research''.

Male circumcision involves the surgical removal of theforeskin, which is a low-cost and permanent procedure, but isculturally controversial.

An international study in 2005 found that it reduces riskof contracting HIV among men by 70 per cent. .

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