There has been much publicity about the role of circumcision in the HIV epidemic, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Presentations reviewed data from the disciplines of epidemiologyThe branch of medical science that deals with the study of incidence and distribution and control of a disease in a population., mathematical modelling, health economics, and public health interventions. All presentations independently came to the same conclusion that the contribution of circumcision in an Australian epidemic would be minimal, does not come close to outweighing the economic, resource and social costs, and could increase rather than decrease risk behaviour and transmission of HIV.
‘While there is debate about the roll out of circumcision as part of an HIV response in some African epidemics, the African data on circumcision is context-specific in regard to culture, behaviour, epidemiology, and health systems – and cannot be extrapolated directly to the Australian epidemic,’ said AFAOAustralian Federation of AIDS Organisations. AFAO is the peak non-government organisation representing Australia's community-based response to HIV/AIDS. AFAO's work includes education, policy, advocacy and international projects. President, Dr Graham Brown.