These findings have opened new debates over whether newborn baby boys as well as non-circumcised men should get circumcision in order to protect their health and perhaps the health of their future sexual partners.
Over 1,200 men from South Africa have been tested and found that fewer than 15 % of the circumcised men and 22 % of the uncircumcised men were infected with HPV, which is the main cause of cervical cancer and genital warts. This makes women with circumcised partners at a lower risk of cervical cancer.
Tests on U.S. men had less clear-cut results but there are some indications that circumcision protects men. The circumcised men were about half as likely to have HPV as uncircumcised men.
When African-American men in Baltimore were tested, 10% of those at high risk of infection with HIV who were circumcised had the virus in comparison to 22% of those who were not.
In patients with known HIV exposure, circumcision was associated with substantially reduced HIV risk, suggesting that results of other studies demonstrating reduced HIV risk for circumcision among heterosexual men can likely be generalized to the U.S. context.
Studies supporting circumcision to reduce HIV transmission had all been done in Africa while U.S. studies were less clear.
In US, African American and Hispanic men belong to subgroups that are most at risk of HIV. Additionally, there are fewer cases of circumcision among these men in US. The researchers believe that circumcision could afford an additional means of protection from HIV in these at-risk minorities.
However, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend routine circumcision for newborns. This is why Medicaid does not cover circumcision costs, at the cost of poorer African American and Hispanic boys who, as adults, may face high HIV exposure risk.
Circumcision rates in the U.S. are declining. One of the explanations could be a lack of Medicaid coverage.
I have a wild theory why circumcised men are somewhat more protected. The circumcised penile head is always exposed. Constant friction with the underwear fabric roughens and thickens the penile head skin, thus making it more difficult for the virus to penetrate through. The penile head of uncircumcised men, on the other hand, is protected by the foreskin most of the time, and therefore the skin tends to be thinner thus allowing easier passage for the virus. If this theory is proven true, uncircumcised men can indeed mechanically roughen their penile head for added protection without ever going through the procedure of circumcision.
If circumcision reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS, why is that risk so much lower in Europe, where the rate of circumcision is very much lower? It is counter-intuitive.
These studies are produced by the Bloomberg School of Public Health, which is funded by Michael Bloomberg. He is making war on the foreskin just as he has made war on large soft drinks and the Second Amendment.
Do not believe everything you read. These so called studies are bunkum.
Circumcision rates are declining in states that still pay for circumcision. People are realizing that circumcision is harmful and mutilating, so fewer people want circumcisions.
IF circumcision prevents HIV transmission, why is it that in Europe, where circ rates are very low, the HIV rate is also much lower than in the U.S. It eppears that circ may actually encourage the spread of HIV/AIDS. I certainly am not about to get circumcised, and as far as I know, neither are my adult sons. Thanks, Roland, I didn't know about Bloomberg!