Circumcision may offer Africa AIDS hope quote: French and South African AIDS researchers have called an early halt to a study of adult male circumcision to reduce HIV infection after initial results reportedly showed that men who had the procedure dramatically lowered their risk of contracting the virus. The study's preliminary results, disclosed Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal, showed that circumcision reduced the risk of contracting HIV by 70 percent -- a level of protection far better than the 30 percent risk reduction set as a target for an AIDS vaccine. According to the newspaper account, the study under way in Orange Farm township, South Africa, was stopped because the results were so favorable. It was deemed unethical to continue the trial after an early peek at data showed that the uncircumcised men were so much more likely to become infected. All of the men in the study had been followed for a year, and half the men had been followed for the full 21 months called for in the original study design, according to the Wall Street Journal, which obtained a draft copy of the study. Begun in August , the experiment is one of three closely watched clinical trials in Africa to determine whether there is scientific merit to nearly three dozen less rigorously controlled studies showing that circumcised men were much less likely to become HIV-positive.