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Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention Up in African Region

By 2019, prevalence was 90.2 percent among males aged 15 to 24 years, but remained below 80 percent for older men

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TUESDAY, July 6, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- In the Chókwè District of Mozambique, the prevalence of circumcision was 90.2 percent among males aged 15 to 24 years in 2019, while prevalence remained lower among older age groups, according to research published in the July 2 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Noting that male circumcision is an important preventive strategy that confers lifelong partial protection against heterosexually acquired HIV infection, Jonas Z. Hines, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from the Chókwè Health and Demographic Surveillance System to assess progress toward the goal of 80 percent circumcision prevalence among males aged 10 to 49 years by 2019.

The researchers found that circumcision prevalence among males aged 15 to 59 years increased from 50.1 to 73.5 percent during 2014 to 2019 (adjusted prevalence ratio, 1.42). The prevalence of circumcision among males aged 15 to 24 years was 90.2 percent by 2019, which exceeded the national goal. However, in older age groups, circumcision prevalence remained below 80 percent (62.7, 54.5, and 55.7 percent among males aged 25 to 34, 35 to 44, and 45 to 59 years, respectively).

"Given the proven benefit of circumcision to reduce the risk for HIV infection, the lower prevalence among males aged 25 to 59 years in Chókwè District justifies continued promotion of voluntary medical male circumcision services as a critical component of the HIV response in this hyperendemic area," the authors write.

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