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HIV AIDS Policy Law Rev. 2007 May;12(1):1, 5-10.

Male circumcision and HIV prevention: a human rights and public health challenge.


Three recent randomized clinical trials from Africa concluded that male circumcision can lead to a significant reduction in HIV risk for men. As a result, an exponential scale-up of services required to circumcise men is already figuring in the thinking of AIDS policy-makers at many levels. At this writing, the World Health Organization (WHO) is reviewing the three studies and other evidence, and is developing policy recommendations for making this HIV prevention intervention widely available. WHO says that this policy exercise"will need to take into account cultural and human rights considerations associated with promoting circumcision,"among other factors. In this article, Joanne Csete identifies some of the most important human rights questions that should be taken into account in the development of guidelines for national governments. The author argues that a scale-up of services to provide male circumcision provides an excellent opportunity to address issues concerning the subordination of women.

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