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Should I get circumcised if I am already HIV positive?
Apr 24, 2007

Now that it seems well-established by recent studies that circumcision lowers the risk of HIV infection, and now that the New York City Dept. of Health is considering a campaign to encourage uncircumcised gay men to get circumcisions, I'm wondering if I should get circumcised. Is there any potential benefit in someone who is already HIV-positive, like myself, getting circumcised? I'm thinking that it might reduce the possibility of being re-infected with a different strain of the virus, and maybe it might also afford some protection to sexual partners. I read in the NY Times that circumcision would be a "hard sell" to most uncircumcised gay men, but I'm game! Even though I always practice safe sex, I've always wanted to be circumcised, and this seems like an opportunity. What advice can you give me on this issue?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

There is no medical or HIV-related reason for an HIV poz guy who "always practices safer sex" to get circumcised. If you "always wanted to be circumcised," that's a completely separate issue. For you, circumcision would be a cosmetic or elective procedure rather than a medical recommendation. Sure, some guys and dolls prefer their men cut, because to put it politely, "it's hard to go window shopping when the drapes are closed." But there really is no medical justification in your particular situation to recommend getting a trim.

Dr. Bob



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