'Good way to fight Aids'

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

A French professor has urged women to encourage men to circumcise to avoid being infected with the HIV virus because this was an effective way of curbing transmission.

Bertran Auvert, a professor at the University of Versailles, told delegates at the third South African Aids Conference in Durban yesterday that if all men were circumcised, the spread and transmission of HIV-Aids would be reduced.

Auvert said scientific research had shown that in countries with low male circumcision, the HIV and Aids epidemic was high.

"In African countries where males are circumcised, the HIV prevalence is at least three times lower than those African countries where most male are not circumcised," he said.

In circumcision, the inner surface of the male foreskin was removed and this reduced the female to male transmission of HIV.

He said, however, researchers still had to establish the effect of circumcision on male to female transmission.

Auvert called on woman to play a major role by encouraging men to circumcise.

"By encouraging males to be circumcised, we would indirectly reduce the number of females becoming infected with HIV-Aids," he said.

Auvert said he did not discourage the use of condoms.

"Male circumcision should be recognised as an additional precaution to prevent the spreading of Aids, like the use of condoms. The advantage is that it's done once in a lifetime," he said.

The four-day conference was officially opened on Tuesday by Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. It runs until tomorrow and delegates will look into strategic plans to fight HIV-Aids pandemic.