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Male circumcision for HIV prevention in Papua New Guinea: A summary of research evidence and recommendations for public health following a National Policy Forum
journal contributionposted on 2018-10-12, 00:00 authored by A Vallely, David MacLaren, W Kaleva, J Millan, R Tommbe, W Marape, C Manineng, H Buchanan, A Amos, R Frank
In 2005, a clinical trial in South Africa found that circumcision of young men could reduce their risk of acquiring HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection by over 60%. In the following year, two more trials in Africa confirmed this finding, leading the World Health Organization to recommend male circumcision as a public health strategy for HIV prevention in high-incidence countries. In order to inform public health policy in Papua New Guinea (PNG), two major research projects were initiated with the goals of investigating the status of penile cutting practices and assessing understandings, acceptability, feasibility and cost-effectiveness of male circumcision for HIV prevention. In addition, behavioural surveillance surveys systematically asked questions on penile cutting practices and an ethnographic literature review informed historical perspectives of penile cutting in PNG. Key findings from these research activities were presented at a National Policy Forum on Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention held in Port Moresby in November 2011. The Forum made three key recommendations: (1) the formation of a joint National Department of HealthlNational AIDS Council Secretariat Policy Committee on male circumcision; (2) the establishment of an integrated harm reduction program; and (3) that future policy on wide-scale roll-out of male circumcision for HIV prevention in PNG be informed by a combination of data from (a) male circumcision intervention pilot programs and (b) research on the potential protective effect of other forms of penile cutting.