Latest research from India shows circumcised men could be more than six times less likely than uncircumcised men to acquire HIV infection. The research also shows how the explanation for this decreased risk in circumcised men is likely to be biological rather than behavioral.
Previous studies show circumcised men have a lower risk of HIV-1 infection than uncircumcised men. New laboratory findings suggest the foreskin is rich with HIV-1 target cells easily accessible to the virus through the thin layer of keratin on the foreskin. Investigators found no protective effect of circumcision against other sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes, syphilis or gonorrhea. However, uncircumcised men were more likely to have a genital ulcer at the beginning of the study and at follow-up visits. All of the 2,298 men in the study were HIV-negative when they were first assessed.
Investigators conclude saying their findings highlight the importance of developing compounds that block the entry of HIV at the cellular level, in addition to current prevention strategies.