Does Circumcision Reduce HIV Risk in Homosexual Men?

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  • Circumcision is a common practice among jewish male newborns.  It has also been associated with a number of possible health benefits, some of which have panned out with further studies and some which have notIt was assumed that men who were circumcised and then engaged in male to male sexual relations had a lower risk of HIV when compared to uncircumcised males.  According to a new meta-analysis (review of a number of studies on this subject), this finding has not appeared to pan out.

     

    What has been proven:

    • Circumcision does protect female to male transmission of HIV
    • Circumcision may protect male against sexually transmitted infections from a female partner

    Though initial earlier studies seemed to suggest that circumcision could protect the homesexual male from HIV, it may be that an increase in "risky behaviors" has blunted that health benefit.  Since circumcision does have the other protective benefits, it might still be a good choice for men.  It is obviously an easier and probably less painful decision for parents to make for a male newborn, though a man of any age can have this procedure done safely and with appropriate pain medication, it is for the most part quite tolerable.

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Published On: October 10, 2008