Saturday, March 28, 2009

Scientists Conclude Circumcision Reduces STD Risks

To cut or not to cut, that is the question. Or as a joke in my Hebrew School once went, "Tell me why, tell me why, there's no meat behind my fly, sloppy rabbi?" Or as comedian Robin Williams once remarked, tell me how they cut it off before you know how much you are going to need? Okay, enough jokes about circumcision. It's a very serious thing, doctors are saying again. Could be a lot safer to get it done. As the above drawing suggests, mankind has been doing this for a while. So live longer. Get it done.

Male circumcision can reduce a man's risk of contracting the sexually transmitted infections human papillomavirus and herpes, according to a study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, and reported in today's New York Times:

The new research "adds to the growing scientific evidence that the procedure helps stem the spread of some" STIs, according to the Journal. It follows studies showing that the procedure can reduce a man's risk of contracting HIV through heterosexual sex.

In the new study, researchers compared 1,684 men who were circumcised with a control group of 1,709 uncircumcised men for two years ending in 2007. They found that circumcised men were 35% less likely to contract HPV compared with the uncircumcised men. The circumcised men also were 25% less likely to contract herpes. The study found no effect on the transmission of syphilis. The researchers accounted for condom use, the number of sex partners and additional factors when calculating the men's STI risk.

According to the researchers, male circumcision should become an accepted method to help reduce the risk of STIs from heterosexual sex among men, the AP/ reports. "It must be emphasized that protection was only partial, and it is critical to promote the practice of safe sex," the researchers wrote. Aaron Tobian from Johns Hopkins said, "The scientific evidence for the public health benefits of male circumcision is overwhelming now" .

1 comment:

  1. I'm finding a great deal of what you are reporting as fact, based on the research, to be as misleading and inaccurate as the news. To be precise, the study showed Circumcised men who engaged in only vaginal sex (not oral, masterbation or anal)showed to be less likely to contract HIV. The study also mentioned this does not mean circumcision reduces transmission of the virus to the same extent. Studies regarding the transmission of other STDs, by circumcised or uncircumcised men have been close to equal if not to less likely for the the uncircumcised by a few percent.
    Another study actually showed, including HIV with all other STD's (and thier HIV research came up with similar numbers) that the overall risks of contracting any STD including AIDs was so close it was only about 3% different and it was to the advantage of the uncircumcised.
    This was a world wide study and the study you are inferring to was the African study.
    When you consider thier situation it maybe advantagous in thier area for thier situation but not to label it as a solution to men around the world as Europe and most other parts of the world (and average of 87% intact) has a lower rate and increase in HIV than the USA who was for their age about 85% circumcised.

    Numbers have been played with for years - News is inacturate and people must do thier own research before spouting off opinions and hearsay rather than facts.