Circumcision alleged to combat HIV spread

Researchers said circumcision can dramatically reduce the chances that men will be infected with the HIV virus during sexual intercourse. A study conducted in a South African township by South African and French researchers finds that circumcision reduced the risk of transmission by 70 percent in men, a far more successful rate than observers had been expecting. Some experts are calling the development "a major breakthrough." Others want to see more data on the experiment.

Other than abstinence and safe sex, almost nothing has been shown to be effective in cutting HIV-transmission rates. The evidence may lead to the use of circumcision as a public health tool. The data from the study, which was conducted by French researcher Bertran Auvert, has yet to be published.

- see this story from The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)

PLUS: A government panel is recommending that all pregnant moms be routinely tested for HIV, citing the effectiveness of current methods of blocking mother to child transmission. Story