Circumcision decreases risk of STIs

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New research has shown adult male circumcision reduces the risk of the most common sexually transmitted infections.

Scientists in Uganda found the procedure decreases rates of herpes and the human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes cervical cancer and genital warts.

The findings were presented in New England Journal of Medicine and in an accompanying editorial researchers call for a reassessment on the role of circumcision in fighting incurable viral sexually transmitted infections.

"These new data should prompt a major reassessment of the role of male circumcision not only in HIV prevention but also in the prevention of other sexually transmitted infections," write authors Drs Matthew R. Golden and Judith N. Wasserheit.

He added that scientists already know that circumcision can decrease men's HIV risk by 60 per cent.

"Now we know that male circumcision reduces men's risk of herpes by 25 per cent and of human papillomavirus by a third," he concluded.

The researchers suggest the data could have a major affect on how health providers counsel patients and parents on circumcision.

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