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Uncircumcised Indians beware! - Times of India

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  • Zafar Khan
    Uncircumcised Indians beware! REUTERS[ FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2003 11:45:31 AM ] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?msid=225729
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 11 1:43 PM
      Uncircumcised Indians beware!
      REUTERS[ FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2003 11:45:31 AM ]

      http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?msid=225729

      LOS ANGELES: Uncircumcised men are eight times as
      likely to become infected with HIV than circumcised
      men, according to a study of nearly 2,300 men in India
      released on Thursday.

      A researcher at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University
      School of Medicine suggested that the inner surface of
      the foreskin does not have the same protective layer
      as the outside, and is potentially more vulnerable to
      HIV.

      Male circumcision is common in North America and
      elsewhere for religious and cultural reasons and to
      help prevent urinary tract infections and penile
      cancer.

      The procedure involves removal of the foreskin, which
      covers the tip of the penis, and is typically done
      shortly after birth.

      In the United States, some two-thirds of male infants
      are circumcised annually. Worldwide, the rates vary
      widely, depending on culture and religion. In many
      countries, including India, circumcision is uncommon.

      "It's important that we offer measures to help curb
      the spread of AIDS, particularly in developing
      countries, where it continues to grow at an alarming
      rate," Dr Steven Reynolds, post-doctoral fellow in the
      division of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins and a
      study investigator said in a statement.

      The American Academy of Pediatrics has said it no
      longer recommends routine circumcision because -
      despite some medical benefit - there can be
      complications.

      Johns Hopkins also studied the risk of other sexually
      transmitted diseases among circumcised and
      uncircumcised men. Although the incidence of diseases
      like syphilis, gonorrhea and genital herpes was
      slightly higher among uncircumcised men, the
      difference was not statistically significant.

      The research was part of a larger study investigating
      risk factors for HIV infection based on men attending
      one of three sexually transmitted disease clinics in
      Pune, India between 1993 and 2000.

      Demographics, sexual risk behaviors - including having
      sex with a prostitute - and condom use were similar
      between both groups, Reynolds said.

      He added that there are methods uncircumcised men may
      be able to use to protect themselves against HIV,
      including condoms and, in the future, a potential
      topical microbicide product that might be applied to
      the foreskin before sex.

      "Circumcision as a potential prevention strategy
      requires confirmation by randomised clinical trials,"
      Reynolds said. There currently are clinical trials
      underway in Uganda, Kenya and South Africa.

      Results of the study were presented at a San Diego
      meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.



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