International AIDS Vaccine Initiative statement on male circumcision

December 14, 2006

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 NIH's 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 men's 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 could jeopardize safe circumcision for many. Men who want to be circumcised as an HIV/AIDS prevention method - a personal decision - must seek out a qualified professional as we work to improve healthcare conditions in resource-poor countries."

Although male circumcision has been shown to reduce HIV acquisition in circumcised men, HIV/AIDS requires a sustained and integrated approach to protect countless numbers of women and girls who were not the focus of the NIH-sponsored study results. We look forward to reviewing upcoming data from a Johns Hopkins University study assessing the impact of male circumcision on the risk of HIV transmission to female partners from HIV-infected men.

At the same time, the international community must continue to push for expanded access to current prevention and treatment options, as well as for critical new prevention technologies currently being developed and tested, including vaccines and microbicides. None of these interventions will be 100% effective on their own; they are complementary and should be used in combination as part of a broad HIV strategy. IAVI continues to believe that a preventive AIDS vaccine is the best hope of ending the pandemic. Even a modestly-effective AIDS vaccine could slash the number of new infections over a decade by one-third, savings tens of millions of lives worldwide.

International AIDS Vaccine Initiative

Related HIV Articles from Brightsurf:

BEAT-HIV Delaney collaboratory issues recommendations measuring persistent HIV reservoirs
Spearheaded by Wistar scientists, top worldwide HIV researchers from the BEAT-HIV Martin Delaney Collaboratory to Cure HIV-1 Infection by Combination Immunotherapy (BEAT-HIV Collaboratory) compiled the first comprehensive set of recommendations on how to best measure the size of persistent HIV reservoirs during cure-directed clinical studies.

The Lancet HIV: Study suggests a second patient has been cured of HIV
A study of the second HIV patient to undergo successful stem cell transplantation from donors with a HIV-resistant gene, finds that there was no active viral infection in the patient's blood 30 months after they stopped anti-retroviral therapy, according to a case report published in The Lancet HIV journal and presented at CROI (Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections).

Children with HIV score below HIV-negative peers in cognitive, motor function tests
Children who acquired HIV in utero or during birth or breastfeeding did not perform as well as their peers who do not have HIV on tests measuring cognitive ability, motor function and attention, according to a report published online today in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Efforts to end the HIV epidemic must not ignore people already living with HIV
Efforts to prevent new HIV transmissions in the US must be accompanied by addressing HIV-associated comorbidities to improve the health of people already living with HIV, NIH experts assert in the third of a series of JAMA commentaries.

The Lancet HIV: Severe anti-LGBT legislations associated with lower testing and awareness of HIV in African countries
This first systematic review to investigate HIV testing, treatment and viral suppression in men who have sex with men in Africa finds that among the most recent studies (conducted after 2011) only half of men have been tested for HIV in the past 12 months.

The Lancet HIV: Tenfold increase in number of adolescents on HIV treatment in South Africa since 2010, but many still untreated
A new study of more than 700,000 one to 19-year olds being treated for HIV infection suggests a ten-fold increase in the number of adolescents aged 15 to 19 receiving HIV treatment in South Africa, according to results published in The Lancet HIV journal.

Starting HIV treatment in ERs may be key to ending HIV spread worldwide
In a follow-up study conducted in South Africa, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have evidence that hospital emergency departments (EDs) worldwide may be key strategic settings for curbing the spread of HIV infections in hard-to-reach populations if the EDs jump-start treatment and case management as well as diagnosis of the disease.

NIH HIV experts prioritize research to achieve sustained ART-free HIV remission
Achieving sustained remission of HIV without life-long antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a top HIV research priority, according to a new commentary in JAMA by experts at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

The Lancet HIV: PrEP implementation is associated with a rapid decline in new HIV infections
Study from Australia is the first to evaluate a population-level roll-out of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in men who have sex with men.

Researchers date 'hibernating' HIV strains, advancing BC's leadership in HIV cure research
Researchers have developed a novel way for dating 'hibernating' HIV strains, in an advancement for HIV cure research.

Read More: HIV News and HIV Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to