Recent research out of Uganda, described in a Nov. 30 HealthDay article, offers exciting insights into curbing HIV’s spread.
The study, conducted by a team from Johns Hopkins University, offered 34,000 people in the country’s Rakai District free male circumcision, condoms and antiretroviral therapy. Interventions also included the “promotion of safe sex,” according to the article, which was reproduced by U.S. News & World Report.
Researchers said the district’s HIV infection rate declined by 42 percent from 1999 until 2016. Unfortunately, however, they noted gender-based differences in impact; while there was a 50 percent reduction in new cases among males, females saw a less substantial 30 percent decrease.
According to Dr. Mary Kate Grabowski, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins, “this difference may have been due to the direct risk-lowering effect of circumcision for men, plus the fact that infected women were more likely than men to use antiretroviral therapy and thus were less likely to transmit the virus to male partners.”
As officials have emphasized in the lead up to last week’s World AIDS Day observances, health—including protection from HIV/AIDS—is a universal human right. Join the conversation here and encourage everyone to take action, both for themselves and to protect their partners’ rights to well-being.
To learn more about these findings, check out the researchers’ newly published article in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Photo courtesy Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health