International AIDS Vaccine Initiative statement on male circumcision

NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2006 -- The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) issued this statement today following a National Institutes of Health (NIH) decision to end two clinical trials of adult male circumcision in Uganda and Kenya. The NIHs Data Safety and Monitoring Board (DSMB), reviewing interim data, found that medically performed circumcision significantly protected men in the trial from HIV infection.

IAVI recognizes the critical importance of interim data released today by the NIH suggesting circumcision may cut in half mens risk of contracting HIV/AIDS through heterosexual sex. The two studies enrolling 2,784 HIV-negative men in Kisumu, Kenya and 4,996 HIV-negative men in Rakai, Uganda, demonstrated a 48% (Uganda) and 53% (Kenya) reduction of HIV acquisition in circumcised men relative to uncircumcised men. These data support the findings of a 2005 study, the South Africa Orange Farm Intervention Trial, funded by the French Agence Nationale de Recherches sur le SIDA (ANRS), which demonstrated at least a 60% reduction in HIV infection among circumcised men.

"We are enormously encouraged by these results," stated CEO and President of IAVI, Dr. Seth Berkley. "Any method of prevention which could reduce new HIV infections now more than four million a year should be supported as part of a comprehensive response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic."

"Within our own studies and vaccine candidate trials overseas, IAVI will work to ensure that World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, as well as local and national guidelines concerning circumcision, are addressed as we continue to drive home key important public health messages. For example, men must continue to wear condoms for even with circumcision they remain at risk for HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, such as herpes, syphilis, and chancroid, which increase the risk of HIV/AIDS. We also are concerned that a lack of health infrastructure in some countries c

Contact: Rachel Steinhardt
International AIDS Vaccine Initiative

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