Is Circumcision The New Weapon Against Aids?

Unsafe sex can cause sexually transmitted diseases such as aids or HIV that can cause havoc in a person's life. There are a lot of ways in which this can be prevented. One of the most common ways is by making use of contraceptives. Studies have also shown that circumcision can also lower the risk of AIDS in people.

What is Circumcision

Before we look into how circumcision can lower the risk of AIDS, you first need to know what circumcision actually is. This is a medical procedure performed on men to remove the foreskin of the penis.

This is a common method practiced in Africa as 70% of the men are circumcised either at birth or in their adolescent stages. In a research conducted in the late 80's experts found that regions with a higher circumcision rate had low chances of AIDS.

How Can Circumcision Reduce the Risk of AIDS?

The foreskin of the penis is very delicate in nature. During sexual intercourse it can easily tear, making it susceptible to AIDS virus which can enter through the torn blood vessels. The foreskin consists of:

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  • High concentration of white blood cells
  • Langerhans cells present in the underside of the penis

These Langerhans cells are also called as the sentinel cells of the immune system. As these are located in the foreskin, it can easily help in detecting a foreign virus or antigen entering the body. An antigen is a substance that triggers an immune response when it comes in contact with your body.

So in simple words, if men are circumcised, there is less chance of the AIDS virus entering into the immune system.

Different Devices Used for Mass Circumcision

Many health organizations such as WHO have joined hands to bring down the chances of AIDS and HIV in Africa by adhering to mass circumcision in men. Keeping in mind the population of various regions, they have come up with devices that can help doctors to perform quicker circumcision on men.

Two of the most common devices are the Prepex and the Shang Ring. The Prepex is a device that comprises of a ring and an elastic band. The ring is placed onto the foreskin of the penis and slipped inside the band. This band then compresses the foreskin, thereby cutting of the blood supply due to the pressure. This device needs to be worn for a week.

Due to constant pressure by the Prepex the tissues in the foreskin die, which makes it easier for the doctors to have them removed with less pain or bleeding. Another device is the Shang Ring which comprises of a placement ring, an inner ring, a verification thread and an elastic ring. In this type of device the foreskin in sandwiched in between these rings and works on the same principle as Prepex.

Other devices that are known to be used for mass circumcision include the Tara KLamp, SmartKlamp and many more. When compared to all these devices, Prepex tends to get better and safe results as it is also approved by the Food and Drug Administration and does not come with any side effects.

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