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Circumcision
Aug 31, 2001

hello doctor, firstly i would like to say this has been the most imformative web site i have been to. I see my own behaviour in some of the messages about people who are anxious over a low risk encounter. Anyway, me question is this. To what extent has evidence been gathered that circumcision reduces HIV infection. Do you believe it should become part of the solution to the AIDS problem? thanks for your opinion.

Response from Mr. Kull

Some recent research studies in Africa strongly suggest a relationship between male circumcision and HIV transmission. See my response to "Circumcision again" (http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Archive/Other/Q9758.qna) for a brief review of these studies. Basically, the preliminary research in Africa suggests that circumcised men are less likely to be HIV infected than uncircumcised men. The cells in the foreskin and glans of uncircumcised men may be prone to infection, while the glans of men circumcised in infancy forms a protective sheath (keratinizes).

It is not known if circumcising men in adulthood would offer any protective benefit. There is a study being organized in Kenya that will examine this very issue. This should be an important step in learning more about HIV prevention strategies.

RMK



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