Mass circumcision should be urged in AIDS-devastated regions to cut infection rates, the UN said yesterday. With trials demonstrating that circumcised men are 60% less likely to contract HIV, such programs could prevent 5.7 million new HIV cases in the next two decades, the Guardian reports.
A circumcision initiative would face cultural obstacles, since it's viewed by many Africans as an "assault on the body's integrity," says Kevin de Cock of the World Health Organization. But that's nothing compared to the scourge of AIDS, he says. "The thing to me that comes closest to the AIDS epidemic for its assault on African culture is slavery."