Mar 25, 2009 | 33
Circumcision is often touted for its potential health benefits: reduced risk of urinary tract infections for baby boys, and lower rates of HIV in teens and men. Now a new study shows that it may also cut a man's chances of contracting two more common, incurable sexually transmitted diseases.
Two randomized, controlled trials in Uganda involving 5,534 men found that those who underwent circumcision as adults were 25 percent less likely to become infected with herpes and more than 30 percent less likely to catch human papillomavirus (HPV) than their uncircumcised peers. (Eight percent of circumcised men and 10 percent of uncircumcised men in the study caught herpes; 18 percent of circumcised men and 28 percent of uncircumcised men contracted HPV.) The research published today in the New England Journal of Medicine didn't, however, find that getting circumcised reduced the risk of contracting syphilis. Previous research has shown that circumcision reduces a man's risk of acquiring HIV by as much as 60 percent.
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