About this Session

In this session you will learn about the long journey from observational studies about the association between male circumcision and HIV infection to a set of randomized trials that changed the HIV prevention landscape.

Read these papers in the order presented. You should read/skim with two objectives: (i) understand the basic research designs and (ii) appreciate how observational data laid the foundation for later randomized trials of male circumcision.

Preparing for Class

  • First case control: Simonsen, J. N., Cameron, D. W., Gakinya, M. N., Ndinya-Achola, J. O., D’Costa, L. J., Karasira, P., … & Plummer, F. A. (1988). Human immunodeficiency virus infection among men with sexually transmitted diseases. New England Journal of Medicine, 319(5), 274-278.
  • First prospective cohort: Cameron, D. W., D’Costa, L., Maitha, G., Cheang, M., Piot, P., Simonsen, J. N., … & Plummer, F. (1989). Female to male transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1: risk factors for seroconversion in men. The Lancet, 334(8660), 403-407.
  • Correlational analysis of regional data: Bongaarts, J., Reining, P., Way, P., & Conant, F. (1989). The relationship between male circumcision and HIV infection in African populations. AIDS, 3(6), 373-378.
  • Commentary: Halperin, D. T., & Bailey, R. C. (1999). Male circumcision and HIV infection: 10 years and counting. The Lancet, 354(9192), 1813-1815.
  • Meta-analysis of observational studies: Weiss, H. A., Quigley, M. A., & Hayes, R. J. (2000). Male circumcision and risk of HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis. AIDS, 14(15), 2361-2370.
  • Summary of 3 RCTS of male circumcision: Johnson, K. E., & Quinn, T. C. (2008). Update on male circumcision: prevention success and challenges ahead. Current Infectious Disease Reports, 10(3), 243-251.
    • RCT, South Africa (stopped early): Auvert, B., Taljaard, D., Lagarde, E., Sobngwi-Tambekou, J., Sitta, R., & Puren, A. (2005). Randomized, controlled intervention trial of male circumcision for reduction of HIV infection risk: the ANRS 1265 Trial. PLOS Medicine, 2(11), e298.
    • RCT, Kenya (stopped early): Bailey, R. C., Moses, S., Parker, C. B., Agot, K., Maclean, I., Krieger, J. N., … & Ndinya-Achola, J. O. (2007). Male circumcision for HIV prevention in young men in Kisumu, Kenya: a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 369(9562), 643-656.
    • RCT, Uganda (stopped early): Gray, R. H., Kigozi, G., Serwadda, D., Makumbi, F., Watya, S., Nalugoda, F., … & Sewankambo, N. K. (2007). Male circumcision for HIV prevention in men in Rakai, Uganda: a randomised trial. The Lancet, 369(9562), 657-666.
  • Review the application activity that we will complete in class
  • Pre-class readiness assessment


Posted here after class

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