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The Circumcision Conundrum

The Circumcision Conundrum


Studies have shown that circumcision can slash HIV infection rates for heterosexual males by up to two thirds. So gay and bisexual men also should benefit from the procedure, right? Well, yes and no -- mostly no -- according to a new large-scale study. An analysis of more than 53,000 gay and bisexual men reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association has found that gay guys who were circumcised were only 14% less likely to be HIV-positive than their uncircumcised peers, a figure far lower than seen among heterosexual men in previous studies. While the researchers say their findings don't support recommending circumcision as a broad HIV prevention tool for men who have sex with men, they note it could be beneficial for 'tops''those who are exclusively insertive partners during anal sex. Or it might not be. The jury is still out. 'The idea makes sense,' says Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researcher Gregorio Millett, 'but there just aren't enough data out there right now to show whether there's a benefit.'

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