Circumcision Cuts HPV Risk for Both Sexes

by Dr. Nithin Jayan on  January 12, 2011 at 7:07 PM Health Watch
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Circumcising men reduces the risk of transmitting types of human papilloma virus associated with cervical and anal cancer to women, according to a study published in The Lancet. This protection is however only partial; it is important to observe safe sex practices.

Genital human papillomavirus (also called HPV) is perhaps the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). Infection with HPV is common in sexually active individuals, especially in developing countries. More than 85% of the HPV disease burden is in developing countries.  Human papilloma viruses are classified as either low-risk or high-risk. High-risk HPV can lead to cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, and anus in women. In men, it can lead to cancers of the anus and penis. Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer in women worldwide.

Male circumcision has been done for many years as a religious tradition. It has been thought to confer protection against sexually transmitted infections and diseases such as cervical cancer since the 19th century. A low incidence of cervical cancer in Jewish women—women who were married to circumcised men was noted as early as in 1901. Cervical cancer is rare in communities in which men are circumcised. A number of observational studies found a protective role for circumcision; definitive evidence was not obtained until randomised trials of adult male circumcision were completed.

The following observations come from previous trials done in Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa:

·        Male circumcision substantially decreased the risk of HIV acquisition in men

·        It also reduced the prevalence of penile high-risk HPV infection by about 35%

·        The practice also reduced the acquisition of new high-risk HPV infections, and increased clearance of pre-existing high-risk HPV infection in men without HIV infection.

·        Compared with female partners of uncircumcised men, female partners of circumcised men had lower rates of genital ulcer disease, Trichomonas vaginalis infection, and bacterial vaginosis.

·        Male circumcision did not reduce the rate of HIV transmission from men with HIV to their female partners 

Two parallel but independent randomised controlled trials of male circumcision which enrolled HIV-negative men and their female partners between 2003 and 2006, in Rakai, Uganda were performed. The effectiveness of male circumcision to prevent high-risk HPV infection in HIV-negative female partners of HIV-negative men was assessed in these trials.

'Circumcision of adolescent and adult men in a rural Ugandan population significantly reduced the prevalence and incidence of both low-risk and high-risk HPV infections and increased clearance of high-risk HPV infections in their female partners,' reported The Lancet.

The finding of the recent trials accords with observational studies that show lower rates of cervical cancer associated with male circumcision.

Male circumcision should be accepted as an efficacious intervention for reducing the prevalence and incidence of HPV infections in female partners. Since this protection is only partial it is also important to promote safe sex practices.

Source: The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 7 January 2011

Source: Medindia

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I am an advocate for male circumcision. Circumcision reduces the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. But then, to each his own. Whether to circumcise or not their sons, depends entirely on the parents. Still, protected sex is the best way to reduce sexually transmitted diseases.


Do you have any evidence that any STD is more prevalent in uncircumcised Americans than circumcised Americans, or similarly in any other developed nation? Since you don't have this evidence, how can you recommend circumcision generally, or outside the third-world context, where ALL your evidence stems from?

This is absurd, your studies in Africa are useless in a first world country like the US, 85% of the worlds uncircumcised men are doing just fine. I swear if a study came out that said female circumcision prevents it, gullible Americans wouldn't buy into that, would they? Bottom line, male circumcision and female circumcision are both a direct violation of someones body who cannot consent, it is not morally within the parents rights to do so.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. About 24 million people are currently infected with genital HPV. Up to 80% of men and women will become infected at some time in their life. If you are confused at this moment, I recommend a support site for you to meet more friends who suffer it also, you will be encourage greatly:

Even celebrity can get STDs. No wonder why more and more sexy girls join the largest STD dating site to look for partner. If you infect STD, the people on here are looking forward to your joining them. In fact, they provide STD counseling, inspirational stories, and many care locations. Hope all people feel warm and find love here…

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Phimosis Cervical Cancer Phimosis/Circumcision Uterine Cancer Anal Warts Popular Sexual Myths Human Papillomavirus Infection 

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