Circumcision study finds reduced risk for 2 STDs
Fewer men get HPV and herpes
LOS ANGELES - Circumcision not only protects against HIV in heterosexual men, but also helps prevent two other sexually transmitted infections, a large new study found.
Circumcised males had a reduced risk of infection with HPV, or human papillomavirus, by 35 percent and herpes by 28 percent. However, researchers found no difference in the transmission of syphilis.
Landmark studies from three African countries including Uganda previously found circumcision lowered men's chance of developing AIDS by up to 60 percent. The new study stems from the Uganda research and looked at protection against three other sexually transmitted diseases. The findings are reported in today's New England Journal of Medicine
"Evidence now strongly suggests that circumcision offers an important prevention opportunity and should be widely available," Dr. Matthew Golden and Dr. Judith Wasserheit of the University of Washington wrote in an accompanying editorial.
Worldwide, only about 30 percent of men are circumcised. The figure is higher in the United States, where about 79 percent of men are circumcised, according to surveys by the National Center for Health Statistics.
An international team of researchers who conducted the study said circumcision should be an accepted method to reduce sexually transmitted infections among heterosexuals.