Circumcision May Cut Risk Of AIDS And HPV


There has been a major debate over the fact of circumcision vis-à-vis the contracting of HIV. Several studies have been conducted and it has been noted that circumcised men have been less infected. Yes, circumcised men seem to have an added advantage over uncircumcised men though the percentage is not really very large. When circumcision is undertaken the urinary meatus and the glans (the head of the penis) skin toughens. There is also a loss of sensitivity. It is believed this toughening of the skin prevents or assists in the prevention of the virus entering circumcised men.

Circumcision also helps in the prevention of the Papillomavirus. This is a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer in women. It is for these reasons that there is much pressure on having new born males circumcised at birth. A study in Africa of over 1,200 men was under conducted by Dr Bertran Auvert. 15 percent of circumcised men compared to 22 percent of uncircumcised men were infected by HPV which is the chief cause of cervical cancer/ genital warts. The report tried to draw ones attention to the fact that women were less vulnerable to cervical cancer when their partners were circumcised.

A report by Carrie Nielson from Oregon Health & Science University was less clear cut. It did how ever come to a similar conclusion that circumcised men were under less risk compared to uncircumcised men when it came to having HPV. A third report by Lee Warner who tested African American man from Baltimore came up with figures only slightly different then the African report. In Baltimore 10 percent, men who were circumcised had the HIV virus as compared to 22 percent of men who were not circumscribed.

Though circumcision may provide a degree of protection, is it the best way forward in the battle against HIV? It would be a false to advocate its use giving people the belief that circumcision will shield them form such viruses like HIV. Circumcision has shown that it acts as a barrier at best but it is not the final cut to prevention. When dealing with sexual transmission of the virus HIV it is well stated to be aware of what is called high risk behavior. High risk behavior is about having multiple partners, it’s about having unprotected sex and lastly to have sex when one is inebriated (when you are most likely to make poor choices).