HIV trials in Africa

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In 2005 and 2007, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were carried out in Africa in an attempt to prove a hypothesis of certain circumcision promoters despite the known immunological functions of the foreskin, to link HIV infection to lack of circumcision.

These trials were carried out in

  • South Africa:
REFjournal Auvert B, Taljaard D, Lagarde E, Sobngwi-Tambekou J, Sitta R, Puren A. Randomized, Controlled Intervention Trial of Male Circumcision for Reduction of HIV Infection Risk: The ANRS 1265 Trial. PLoS Med. 25 October 2005; 2(11): e298. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  • Kenya:
REFjournal Bailey RC, Moses S, Parker CB, et al. Male circumcision for HIV prevention in young men in Kisumu, Kenya: A randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 24 February 2007; 369(9562): 643–56. PMID. DOI. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  • Uganda:
REFjournal Gray RH, Kigozi G, Serwadda D, et al. Male circumcision for HIV prevention in men in Rakai, Uganda: A randomised trial. Lancet. 24 February 2007; 369(9562): 657-66. PMID. DOI. Retrieved 31 December 2021.

The 2007 RCTs in Kenya and Uganda were funded by NIAID director Anthony Fauci.

60% HIV protection myth

These RCTs are the cause of the false and long since disproved claim that circumcision would offer a 60% better protection against HIV than uncircumcised people have.


Green et al. (2008), in a preliminary report, published a long list of methodological issues with the RCTs.[1]

Boyle & Hill (2011) studied their reports and found disabling methodological and statistical errors that invalidated their purported findings.[2]

Van Howe & Boyle (2018) further elaborated on these findings and suggested possible coordination between the RCTs and hinted at the possibility of fraud.[3]

Two massive populalation studies found no evidence of a protective effect from circumcision.[4][5]


  1. REFjournal Green LW, McAllister RS, Peterson KW, Travis JR. Male circumcision is not the HIV ‘vaccine’ we have been waiting for!. Future HIV Therapy. 2008; 2(3): 193-9. DOI. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  2. REFjournal Boyle GJ, Hill G. Sub-Saharan African randomised clinical trials into male circumcision and HIV transmission: Methodological, ethical and legal concerns PDF. Thompson Reuter. December 2011; 19(2): 316-34. PMID. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  3. REFjournal Van Howe RS, Boyle GJ. Meta-analysis of HIV-acquisition studies incomplete and unstable. BJU Int. 31 October 2018; Retrieved 24 November 2021.
    Quote: Given the effectiveness of condoms, the lack of consistent findings on national levels, the methodologically flawed RCTs, the lack of translational research, and the impressive potential uptake and effectiveness of pre-exposure prophylaxis, circumcision as an intervention to prevent HIV infection should be treated with greater scepticism.
  4. REFjournal Mayan M, Hamilton RJ, Juurlink DN, Austin PC, Jarvi KA. Circumcision and Risk of HIV Among Males From Ontario, Canada. J Urol. 23 September 2021; PMID. DOI. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
    Quote: We found that circumcision was not independently associated with the risk of acquiring HIV among men from Ontario, Canada.
  5. REFjournal Frisch M, Simonsen J. Non-therapeutic male circumcision in infancy or childhood and risk of human immunodeficiency virus and other sexually transmitted infections: national cohort study in Denmark. Eur J Epidemiol. 26 September 2021; 37: 251–9. PMID. DOI. Retrieved 16 January 2022.