Circumcision Reduces HPV in Uganda

Circumcision helps prevent HPV transmission in some cases

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Randomized trials in Uganda have shown that circumcision reduces the risk of HPV transmission in heterosexual couples uninfected by HIV.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually-transmitted disease that currently affects 20 million Americans. Every year, 6 million people become infected. The virus is responsible for genital warts and various kinds of cancer, especially cervical cancer in women.

According to a study done in Uganda, circumcision in HIV-negative men helps prevent transmission of HPV to HIV-negative women. This is only partially successful, however, and safe sex is still the best route for prevention.

The study only focused on heterosexual transmission, however, between men and women without HIV infection. These findings were found through several randomized trials performed in the African country of Uganda.

Uncircumcised men were found to have a 28 percent higher risk of infection. Circumcision has thus been suggested for countries where there is no well-established cervical screening for women. Scientists hope that the combination of vaccines, in addition to male circumcision, can help decrease the occurrence of high-risk HPV.

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Review Date: 
January 7, 2011
Last Updated:
May 6, 2013