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Evidence of Protection

It is not uncommon for patients to ask what is my opinion of circumcision of infants. Several months ago I wrote how circumcision helps protect against acquiring HIV. Another more recent study found that circumcision also protects against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The study showed that by age 21, 1.3 percent of the circumcised men had contracted an STD, compared with 3.5 percent of the uncircumcised men. By age 25, those numbers had increased to 3.4 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively. After accounting for differences in the number of sexual partners and the frequency of sex without a condom, the researchers calculated that circumcision decreased a man’s risk of getting an STD to less than one-third the risk in uncircumcised men.

So there is mounting evidence that circumcision may reduce rates of STDs quite dramatically. Earlier work showed that during the first year of life, uncircumcised boys have 10-20 times as many urinary tract infections as circumcised boys do. There seems to be mounting evidence in favor of circumcision.

Terry Pfau, DO, HMD

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