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Male Circumcision Does Not Reduce Sexual Satisfaction, Performance, Study Finds

January 9, 2008

Male circumcision does not reduce levels of sexual desire, satisfaction or performance, according to a study recently published in the British Journal of Urology International, BBC News reports. According to BBC News, the study's findings should eliminate reservations about using the procedure as a method of preventing the spread of HIV (BBC News, 1/7).

For the study, Ronald Gray of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and colleagues followed 4,456 sexually experienced boys and men ages 15 to 49 in Uganda who were HIV-negative. The researchers randomly assigned 2,210 to be circumcised at the onset of the study, while 2,246 had the procedure delayed for two years. The researchers followed up with both groups at six, 12 and 24 months and compared information on sexual desire, satisfaction and sexual performance. According to Gray, the study was conducted as part of an HIV prevention initiative (Blackwell Publishing release, 1/8).

According to the study, there was little difference between the two groups when they were asked about their sexual desire, satisfaction and performance. The study found that 98.4% of circumcised participants reported satisfaction, compared with 99.9% in the control group, and that 98.6% of the circumcised group reported no problems with their ability to penetrate, compared with 99.4% in the control. Marginally more circumcised participants -- 99.4% -- reported that they had no pain during intercourse, compared with 98.8% of men in the control group, the study found.

Gray said that the "study clearly shows that being circumcised did not have an adverse effect on the men who underwent the procedure when we compared them with the men who had not yet received surgery." He added, "Other studies already show that being able to reassure men that the procedure won't affect sexual satisfaction or performance makes them much more likely to be circumcised."

Some groups have warned against using circumcision as a primary HIV prevention method, BBC News reports. Deborah Jack, chief executive of the National AIDS Trust, said, "There is a fear that people that have been circumcised will feel they are protected when they are not." She added, "Condoms remain the best way of preventing HIV through sexual intercourse." According to Jack, research into HIV transmission and circumcision has been "limited in its scope," and further research into new methods and vaccines still is needed (BBC News, 1/7). John Fitzpatrick of University College Dublin, who also serves as editor of BJU International, said, "We believe that these findings are very important as they can be used to support public health messages that promote circumcision as an effective way of reducing HIV transmission" (Blackwell release, 1/8).

Back to other news for January 2008

Reprinted with permission from You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2007 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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