All three trials were designed to compare the HIV infection rates of two groups of HIV-negative men, one-half of whom would agree to be circumcised, the other to be offered only counseling on AIDS prevention. The studies were designed to show whether or not circumcision provided a statistically significant protective effect of at least 50 percent. The South African study -- if the results are confirmed -- suggests that the level of protection afforded is even higher. Although the apparent protective effect of circumcision has been noted for more than 20 years, doubts linger as to whether circumcision itself is protective, or whether the lower risk may be the result of cultural practices among those who circumcise. HIV rates are low in Muslim communities, for example, which practice male circumcision but also engage in ritual washing before sex and frown on promiscuity.
from the article: A world path not followed