The relationship between HIV and circumcision has been controversial. This article examines the relation between circumcision and HIV in men. We also discuss the effects of circumcision on other STIs such as genital cancer in HIV-positive men. Finally, we consider the ethics of circumcision. In this article, we review some of the most recent evidence. The full article will help you understand the relationship between HIV and circumcision.
Incidence of HIV infection in circumcised and uncircumcised men
Recent research found that circumcised men have a lower risk of HIV infection than those who were not circumcised. The circumcision procedure preserves barrier integrity and reduces inflammation within penile tissues. Researchers also observed reduced HIV-target cell density in the exposed skin. This relationship is not fully understood. The researchers did not conduct paired skin biopsies to prove the link. Instead, they measured the levels IL-8 in coronal sulcus. These levels were found to be lower.
Researchers performed a meta analysis to combine data from 28 studies across eight countries to determine whether circumcision lowers HIV infection. It was also shown that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infected men who are circumcised compared to uncircumcised men. This suggests that circumcision may be a way to lower HIV infection rates for high-risk males.
Impact of circumcision other than HIV on STIs
Studies on the impact of circumcision on STIs other than the HIV virus have been mixed. Studies on the relationship between circumcision, chlamydia and gonorrhea and HSV-2 were also included in the results. In each study, the number of lifetime partners was measured. Culture and nucleic Acid Amplifying were used to test for chlamydia.
The protective effect that circumcision has on HIV infection can be attributed to immunohistological and histological studies. These studies show a higher concentration of HIV target cells within the inner mucosa. Two systematic reviews have not found significant associations between circumcision, HIV infection, and two other studies. However, evidence has been provided since the 2008-2011 reviews. A meta-analysis involving 18 studies showed that circumcision could reduce the risk for HIV infection by as much 20% in MSM. The meta-analysis didn’t include significant proportions of published data.
Male circumcision is associated also with lower rates of gonorrhoeae chlamydia transmisis and Trichomonas vaginalis. In addition, circumcision protects men from HIV infection. Studies of this type of circumcision in Kenya showed that men with circumcision had a reduced risk of contracting HIV.
Relationship between circumcision, genital cancer and HIV-positive men
There is little evidence to support the association between circumcisions and genital ulcer diseases in HIV-positive men. Researchers have hypothesized that intact foreskin during sexual intercourse may increase the susceptibility to STDs. The environment below the foreskin could also increase the survival of infectious agents. Also, the thinner glans of uncircumcised men may contribute to the predisposition to non-specific balanitis. In addition, circumcision may be related to a lower risk of gonorrhoea and syphilis, which are both transmitted to non-circumcised men.
For HIV-positive men, circumcision provides 60% protection. This means that circumcision may be a valuable tool in HIV prevention efforts across sub-Saharan Africa. The procedure removes Langerhans-cells from the foreskin. They are responsible in part for HIV infection’s local vulnerability. In HIV-positive men, circumcision reduces the viral load. Circumcision may lower the risk of developing genital ulcer diseases and genital neoplasms among sexually-contact partners.
Ethics of circumcision
The ethics of HIV/circumcision are hotly debated, especially in light of the controversy over genital cutting. Many people have strong views about circumcision, and some argue that the procedure is a form of genital mutilation, but that’s not necessarily the case. Many studies show circumcision can reduce the risk of HIV and UTIs, which are both serious consequences. But there are other concerns about circumcision, too, and we should be sure to weigh the evidence carefully.
Understanding the ethical and practical issues surrounding male circumcision can be helped by knowing the age at which it is performed. A recent study published in the Glob Public Health journal looked at the impact of naturalized male circumcision on HIV prevalence in Sub-Saharan Africa. Naturalised male circumcision might still be an effective method to prevent HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.