Foreskin Surface Area and HIV Acquisition: It''s the Size That Matters

by Tanya Thomas on  November 1, 2009 at 9:58 AM AIDS/HIV News
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Foreskin Surface Area and HIV Acquisition: It''s the Size That Matters
Randomized clinical trials conducted by researchers in Rakai, Uganda, have revealed a link between the size of foreskin surface area and the risk of male HIV acquisition. The results of the trials have been published in the current issue of AIDS, the leading journal in the field of HIV and AIDS research. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading provider of information and business intelligence for students, professionals, and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied health, and pharmacy.

In recent years, several studies have shown that circumcision reduces the risk of male HIV acquisition by 50-60%, and circumcision is now recommended by WHO/United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) as an HIV prevention strategy. Based on this evidence that the foreskin increases vulnerability to HIV, Dr Godfrey Kigozi and his colleagues hypothesized that the size of the foreskin might be related to the risk of HIV infection.

Eligible candidates for this retrospective cohort study were drawn from the initially HIV-negative participants in the Rakai Community Cohort Study. These men were subsequently enrolled into the randomized trials of male circumcision and had measurement of their foreskin surface area taken following surgery. The researchers then determined HIV acquisition in these men and assessed the association between foreskin size measured after surgery, and the incidence of HIV acquisition while under surveillance prior to circumcision. Their results determined that the risk of male HIV acquisition was significantly increased in men with larger foreskin surface areas.

The researchers point out that their study is unique and their findings therefore need to be replicated. However, these results, in addition to the observational studies and randomized trials, add plausibility to the hypothesis that the foreskin is a tissue vulnerable to HIV acquisition.

About AIDS:
AIDS publishes the very latest ground breaking research on HIV and AIDS. Read by all the top clinicians and researchers, AIDS has the highest impact of all AIDS-related journals. With 18 issues per year, AIDS guarantees the authoritative presentation of significant advances. The Editors, themselves noted international experts, are committed to making AIDS the most distinguished and innovative journal in the field.

About Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW) is a leading international publisher for healthcare professionals and students with nearly 300 periodicals and 1,500 books in more than 100 disciplines publishing under the LWW brand, as well as content-based sites and online corporate and customer services.

LWW is part of Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading provider of information and business intelligence for students, professionals and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied health and pharmacy. Major brands include traditional publishers of medical and drug reference tools and textbooks, such as Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and Facts & Comparisons®; and electronic information providers, such as Ovid®, UpToDate®, Medi-Span® and ProVation® Medical.

Wolters Kluwer Health is part of Wolters Kluwer, a leading global information services and publishing company. The company provides products and services for professionals in the health, tax, accounting, corporate, financial services, legal, and regulatory sectors. Wolters Kluwer had 2008 annual revenues of €3.4 billion ($4.9 billion), employs approximately 20,000 people worldwide, and maintains operations in over 35 countries across Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Wolters Kluwer is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Its shares are quoted on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. Visit for information about our market positions, customers, brands, and organization.

Source: Newswise

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