Update on Male Circumcision and HIV Prevention
EDITOR--The contentious issue of whether or not male circumcision programmes should be instituted to prevent female-to-male HIV infection has been resolved (at least for now). The Cochrane Library has carried out an exhaustive review of the evidence in accordance with a protocol that was established in 2001.1
The Cochrane Library released its exhaustive report of the medical evidence regarding male circumcision as a prophylactic measure on 21 July 2003.
The Cochrane systematic review found numerous studies regarding this issue. The review team determined, however, that the methodology of these studies fails to adequately control for the numerous confounding factors. The Cochrane review concluded that there is insufficient evidence to support a circumcision intervention.2
The review noted that male circumcision is a highly emotional issue and expressed concern “that researchers' personal biases and the dominant circumcision practices of their respective countries may influence their interpretation of findings.”2
Doctors Opposing Circumcision
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- Siegfried N, Muller M, Volmink J, Egger M, Low N, Weiss H, Walker S, Deeks J, Williamson P. Male circumcision for prevention of heterosexual acquisition of HIV in men (Protocol for a Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 2, 2003.
- Siegfried N, Muller M, Volmink J, Deeks J, Egger M, Low N, Weiss H, Walker S, Williamson P. Male circumcision for prevention of heterosexual acquisition of HIV in men (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 3, 2003. Oxford: Update Software
Competing interests: No competing interests