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Circumcision May Not Cut HIV Spread


Studies in Africa have suggested that circumcision can lower the spread of HIV, but a new report out of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that the surgical procedure is little help to men in Western countries, Reuters Health reports.

The CDC study looked at 4,900 men in the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands and found that there was no difference in HIV infection among the circumcised and uncircumcised men over a three-year period.

Previous studies have indicated that circumcision protects men from HIV infection because foreskin tissue appears particularly susceptible to the virus. But researchers with the CDC say there a number of reasons that this might not be the case in the West. One factor is that more HIV-positive people in developing countries are on powerful HIV drugs that reduce the chance of transmission -- and that might outweigh any preventive effects of circumcision.

See the full story here.

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