Cut the risk

Estimated worldwide HIV infections: 54 257 519 at 12.10pm on Thursday October 16 2003.

Uncircumcised men have an eight-fold higher risk of becoming infected with HIV than circumcised men, according to a study of 2 298 Indian men presented on Thursday at the 41st Annual Meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America by Dr Steven Reynolds of Johns Hopkins University.

The research was part of a larger study investigating risk factors for HIV-1 infection based on men attending one of three STD clinics in Pune, India. Between 1993 and 2000, 2 298 men who tested negative for HIV-1 were enrolled in the study.
During subsequent visits two of 191 men who were circumcised and 165 of 2107 who were uncircumcised tested positive for HIV.

Demographics, sexual risk behaviours (including having sex with a prostitute), and condom use were remarkably similar in both groups, said Dr Reynolds.

However, the study did not find circumcision to protect against other sexually transmitted diseases, including syphilis, genital herpes and gonorrhoea.

Source: Aidsmap; Red Ribbon

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