March 26, 2009

Circumcision cuts STD risk

Circumcised men are less likely to contract human papillomavirus and herpes than uncircumcised men, U.S. and Ugandan researchers said.

The report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was led by researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Makerere University in Uganda, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The findings are based on a study of nearly 3,400 men in Africa, half of whom underwent circumcision.

The data suggest circumcised heterosexual men are 35 percent less likely to contract HPV and 25 percent less likely to catch herpes. Data from that study previously showed that circumcision reduces the risk of contracting HIV by one-half.

The scientific evidence for the public-health benefits of male circumcision is overwhelming now, study author Dr. Aaron Tobian of Johns Hopkins Hospital told the newspaper.