The Relationship between Female Genital Mutilation and HIV Transmission in Sub-Saharan Africa
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is an age-old practice that has since been linked with many health problems. This review aims to highlight some of the controversies trailing the relationship between FGM and HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. A literature search was conducted on the subject matter. This was done using articles published in English while limiting the geographical coverage to sub-Saharan Africa. Three themes were noted. These themes include: Direct causal link between FGM and HIV transmission; indirect causal link between FGM and HIV transmission and a negative or no association between FGM and HIV transmission. While many of the arguments are within scientific reasoning, the researches supporting the views seem to lack the necessary objectivity. This study underscored the need for a more objective lens in viewing and conducting research on the relationship between FGM and HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. Afr J Reprod Health 2013 (Special Edition); 17: 156-160).
Keywords: Female Genital Cutting, Female circumcision, gender, sexually transmitted infection