Circumcision may not curb gay HIV transmission

Published: December 7, 2010

(Reuters Health) – While circumcision has been shown to lower a man’s risk of contracting HIV through heterosexual sex, a new study indicates that the value of circumcision for gay and bisexual men remains questionable.

In a study of more than 1,800 men from the U.S. and Peru, researchers found that overall, the risk of contracting HIV over 18 months did not significantly differ between circumcised and uncircumcised men.

Over the study period, 5 percent of the 1,365 uncircumcised men became HIV-positive, as did 4 percent of the 457 circumcised men, according to findings published in the journal AIDS.

All of the men in the study reported having sex with other men and were considered to be at increased risk of HIV infection because they were already infected with the genital herpes virus (herpes simplex type 2), which can make people more susceptible to HIV.

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