Male Circumcision and HIV Prevention: Ethical, Medical and Public Health Tradeoffs in Low-Income Countries
Rennie, S., Muula, A.S., and Westreich, D.
Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol. 33, No 6. (Jun., 2007), pp. 357-61.
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In this article, we will not focus on the scientific issues surrounding the current research on male circumcision. We will
work from the perspective that the current evidence from studies in three sub-Saharan countries indicates that male circumcision is (at least) promising as an HIV-prevention strategy – that is, in public health terms, male circumcision is as promising as an HIV vaccine or pre-exposure prophylactic drug that showed a similar short-term protective effect in a series of randomised controlled trials. Using the age of circumcision as a vantage point, this article develops a new framework to understand the complex array of ethical and practical challenges faced by this controversial way of preventing HIV in high prevalence, low-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.