Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
EYER-SILVA, Walter A. Male circumcision and HIV heterosexual transmission. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.37, n.5, pp. 678-686. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102003000500022.
Since the early years of the AIDS epidemic significant geographic differences in HIV prevalence were reported within neighboring countries and neighboring regions within the same country in sub-Saharan Africa. These differences could not be fully explained by factors such as sexual behavior and condom use. Mounting epidemiological data have demonstrated that male circumcision is a major protective factor against male heterosexual HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa and probably contributes to these significant differences in HIV prevalence. This is a review of African studies on the association between male circumcision and HIV infection, the origin of circumcision practices in human societies, potential prepuce mechanisms for increasing male vulnerability to heterosexual HIV infection, its association with other infectious and neoplastic diseases, controversies on the convenience of male circumcision as an HIV control strategy in Africa, the scarce Brazilian literature on male circumcision and perspectives of future research.
Keywords : Circumcision; HIV infections [transmission]; HIV infections [prevention and control]; Africa; Heterosexual transmission.