HIV Infection Risk Much Lower for Circumcised Men

Uncircumcised men are more than twice as likely to to contract HIV from an infected female partner, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), because the skin cells in the foreskin are particularly susceptible to the HIV virus.

Circumcision reduced the risk of contracting HIV by about 60 percent, a far greater result than the 30% reduction targeted by an AIDS vaccine.

At an AIDS conference in Sidney, Australia, Robert Bailey, an epidemiology professor at the University of Illinois, urged international health agencies to promote male circumcision as an effective means to lower the rate of HIV infections.

In March, 2007, the World Health Organization issued a statement urging males to get circumcised for health reasons.

However, the organization stressed that circumcision does not protect from HIV, and says that “men should still use condoms and take other precautions such as abstinence, delaying the start of sexual activity and reducing the number of sexual partners.”

References: AP (7/24/07)

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