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Women must insist men get circumcised

Women supporting men is one of the trends to watch in 2015 in medical male circumcision for HIV prevention. Women have an important role to play to support men before and after surgery, including reminding partners to abstain from sex during the post operative period. Multiple studies are now conducted to determine how women’s involvement helps both her and her partner. Despite the clear health benefits circumcision provides, countries face major challenges in meeting growing demand.

Action is needed to close a looming resource gap of more than US$700 million by 2016 to ensure men at the highest risk of HIV exposure in 14 priority African countries have access to surgery. A study published in The Lance found that medical male circumcision may help to protect against syphilis infections in both men and women. Researchers found that men who are circumcised are 42% less likely to become infected with syphilis than those who are uncircumcised. Female partners of circumcised men are 59% less likely to become infected with syphilis. Previous research also shows that medical male circumcision reduces transmission of the virus that causes cervical cancer from men to women. Circumcision may also help protect against Genital Human Papillomavirus (HPV), one of the most common sexually transmitted infections worldwide and the cause of nearly all cases of cervical cancer. More men in Africa than ever are choosing to protect themselves from HIV through medical circumcision and in 2013 alone nearly 2.7 million men across 14 countries chose to be circumcised.

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