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Not only does circumcision reduce a heterosexual man's risk of contracting HIV by more than 60%, but it also may protect against other sexually transmitted diseases, according to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine. An analysis of patient data from more than 5,000 Ugandan men has shown that risks for herpes simplex virus 2 (the cause of genital herpes) and human papillomavirus (which caused genital warts and has been linked with anal and cervical cancer) also were reduced by circumcision -- by about one third for herpes and 35% for HPV. Coinfection with either herpes or HPV boosts risks for HIV infection through the open sores and lesions associated with the STDs. The study data showed circumcision did not, however, offer increased protection against syphilis.

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