Circumcising gay men would have limited impact on preventing HIV

July 22, 2010

Adult circumcision has been proposed as a possible HIV prevention strategy for gay men, but a new study by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health presented at the XVIII International AIDS Conference suggests it would have a very small effect on reducing HIV incidence in the United States.

Circumcision is thought to reduce the risk of by removing cells in the foreskin that are most susceptible to infection by the virus. conducted in Africa have found it reduces the risk of HIV in , yet there is little evidence that it can reduce transmission among American gay men.

The study was based on surveys of 521 gay and in San Francisco. Findings indicated that 115 men (21 percent) were HIV-positive and 327 (63 percent) had been circumcised. Of the remaining 69 men (13 percent), only three (0.5 percent) said they would be willing to participate in a clinical trial of circumcision and HIV prevention, and only four (0.7 percent) were willing to get circumcised if it was proven safe and effective in preventing HIV.

The researchers extrapolated these findings to the entire gay and bisexual male population of San Francisco, an estimated 65,700 people, and determined that only 500 men would potentially benefit from circumcision.

"Circumcision in the U.S. already is very common, making it applicable to a limited number of men as a potential HIV prevention strategy in adulthood," said Chongyi Wei, Dr.P.H., study author and post-doctoral associate, Pitt's Graduate School of Public Health. "Our study indicates that any potential benefit may likely be too small to justify implementing circumcision programs as an intervention for prevention."

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not rated yet Jul 22, 2010
"Studies show circumcision reduces HIV by 60%", but realities show otherwise.

This "protection" remains to be seen in countries with a large population of circumcised men. In America, 80% of the male population is circumcised for example, yet it has THE highest HIV transmission rate in the industrialized world. AIDS is a rising problem in Israel, where the majority of the male population is already circumcised. On Wednesday, July 7th, two weeks ago, Malaysian AIDS Council vice-president Datuk Zaman Khan announced that than 70% of the 87,710 HIV/AIDS sufferers in the country are Muslims (in other words CIRCUMCISED). The Muslim, circumcised population accounts for 70% of the incidence of HIV, but only 60% of the population, which would mean that the circumcised population is getting HIV at a much higher rate than the non-circumcised population.

Circumcision won't have ANY impact whether whatsoever, in gay OR straight men. Funds are scarse. Lets spend money wisely.
not rated yet Jul 22, 2010
"Circumcision is thought to reduce the risk of HIV transmission by removing cells in the foreskin that are most susceptible to infection by the virus."

Editors at Physorg, you would be well informed that how exactly circumcision is supposed to cut down on HIV transmission has never been explained. A correlation was made between circumcision status and HIV transmission, that's all. "Researchers" have tried to come up with a hypothesis ever since, but have been unsuccessful. It seems to be more important to make sure "mass circumcision campaigns" are rolled out.

Scientists have hypothesized that the Langerhans cells present in the foreskin act as "the prime port of entry for HIV." DeWitte has found that the cells actually DESTROY the virus. Later they said that it was the hard keratin that circumcised men develop; that too is a fail. HIV permeates skin no matter how thick the skin is.

Mass circumcision campaigns are being rolled out using baseless "studies."
not rated yet Jul 22, 2010
This article's conclusions are misleading. It appears to show a lack of interest in circumcision among the intact. Not a lack of probable effectiveness. It also fails to mention that five studies to date, the largest of which was in Australia, showed no prophylactic effect whatsoever from circumcision in gay men. So why do a study gauging interest in an ineffective measure? For the grant money?

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