AIDS prevention

The most recent Ethics and Medics, (Vol. 33, N. 12)  a publication of the National Catholic Bioethics Center on Health Care and the Life Sciences, had some interesting and surprising comments.  It cited research that has been published in Science by Malcom Potts et al. (“Reassessing HIV Prevention”, Science 320.5877, May 9, 2008: 749-750).   Ethics and Medics reports that the article calls for more explicit emphasis on proven measures at reducing AIDS in Africa, specifically abstinence and fidelity, and male circumcision.  The article is reported to emphasize the importance of sexual behavior change in contrast to condom distribution. 

I have not read the article in Science but it reportedly indicates that in countries that have emphasized fidelity, abstinence and male circumcision, such as Uganda,  Kenya, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and  Haiti, there has been significant drops in HIV transmission in contrast to countries such as South Africa that have strongly advocated condoms use with little emphasis on abstinence and fidelty.  It also reports that three recent randomized controlled trials have proven that male circumcision confers a type of biological protection against HIV transmission among men, renders them approximately 60% less susceptible to HIV than non-circumcised men.  The article then, it is reported, calls for a shift in tactics in the global HIV prevention efforts.

I hope to be able to obtain the article in Science and report back my response to it.

Ethics and Medics near the end of its recent issue suggests that the dominant approach to HIV prevention is an impoverished philosophy that does not adhere to sound, rational principles of disease control.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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