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Medical News

For Women, Circumcised Partner May Be Better Lover

July 22, 2009

A landmark study -- presented at the 5th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town, South Africa -- finds that almost 40 percent of women reported their sexual satisfaction improved after their male partner underwent circumcision. The results will likely help popularize the procedure, which studies show reduces the risk of female-to-male HIV transmission by about 60 percent.

Dr. Godfrey Kigozi of the Rakai Health Sciences Program and colleagues enrolled 455 women whose partners had been circumcised during the trial. The women were asked to report on their sexual satisfaction before and after the procedure. Just 13 percent said their sexual satisfaction was reduced, compared to nearly 40 percent who said things were better. The chief reason for improvement, cited by 51 of 177 women, was better hygiene.

Forty-five of the 177 women reported better sex because their partner took longer to achieve orgasm, the same reason two women gave for their dissatisfaction. Forty-four women said their partner wanted sex more often, a reason cited by one woman who reported reduced satisfaction. Twenty-six said their partners had less or no difficulty maintaining an erection; 18 reported their partners had no erection problems to begin with.

CDC's Dr. Naomi Block, who chaired the session at which the study was presented, said the results build on more than a dozen other reports showing women do not expect much to change after a partner's circumcision. However, those studies were based on interviews with women whose partners had not undergone the procedure, while the Rakai study involved women with experience before and after circumcision, she said.

The study is useful to public health officials because it shows that a possible barrier to widespread use of male circumcision as a way to fight HIV, women's objections, does not exist, said Block.

Back to other news for July 2009

Adapted from:
ABC News
07.20.2009; Michael Smith, MedPage Today

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention