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December 20, 2007

Time Ranks JHSPH Research No. 1: Male Circumcision as HIV Prevention

The work of two Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers, which showed definitively that male circumcision is a powerful HIV prevention tool, has been selected by Time magazine as the top medical breakthrough of the year. Principal investigator Ronald Gray, MBBS, MSc, and Maria Wawer, MD, MHS, both professors in Population, Family and Reproductive Health, oversaw a randomized clinical trial in Rakai, Uganda demonstrating that surgical circumcision reduced by more than 50 percent a man’s chances of acquiring the HIV virus through sexual contact with women.

The dramatic findings led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to halt the Uganda research and another clinical trial in Kenya so circumcision surgery could be offered to men in the control groups. The World Health Organization and UNAIDS now endorse the procedure as part of a comprehensive prevention package for HIV-negative men.

“Hopkins should be proud that their faculty were successful in pioneering this research and clinical trial which will save millions of HIV infections over the years in Africa,” said Tom Quinn, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health. Quinn, MD, also worked on the circumcision studies, along with other researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and investigators from Makerere University and School of Public Health in Uganda. 

Learn more about the School's pioneering studies in Rakai, Uganda:

Q & A: Male Circumcision and HIV Prevention

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