South African study highlights risk to youth

An increase in voluntary medical male circumcisions (VMMC) is among the signs of significant, but insufficient, progress against HIV cited by South African researchers in a Health24 article on 18 July 2018. The South African National HIV Incidence, Prevalence, Behaviour and Communication Survey of 2017 found that the number of men who are medically circumcised rose from 18.6 percent in 2012 to 30.8 percent in 2017. The rate of new HIV infections declined, but it remains high, particularly among young women, who are at three times higher risk than their male peers. The researchers pointed to the need to increase uptake of VMMC and antiretroviral treatment, and South Africa’s health minister called for the introduction of sexual and reproductive health in schools. The survey results were also reported at the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam on July 2018 (Health24, 18 July 2018).