Besides the issues concerning penis sensitivity loss (or not), circumcision is regarded by many as being a hygienic operation. Some like to see in it as an anti-HIV weapon. But despite the myth surrounding circumcision, it appears that the procedure does not protect men against common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the developed world, as revealed by a new study published in the "Journal of Pediatrics."
"While there is compelling evidence that circumcision protects
men from contracting HIV through sex with women, it is unclear whether circumcised men are at lower risk of other types of STIs," wrote the research team from the University of Otago, in Dunedin (New Zealand), led by Dr. Nigel P. Dickson.
The team investigated 499 men born in 1972 and 1973, of which about 40% had been circumcised in early childhood. 23.4% of the circumcised men had experienced a type of STD by age 32, compared to 23.5% of the non-circumcised men.
The most spread STDs were genital warts, Chlamydia and genital herpes. Even when the team took into consideration other factors, like sexual behavior and socioeconomic factors, the percentages of STDs remained the same between circumcised and uncircumcised men.
Another research made also in New Zealand discovered that circumcision dwindled by 50% the rate of STDs among men younger than 25.
"However, that study was done in a smaller group of individuals with a lower rate of STIs than that reported in the current study, while fewer men in that group had been circumcised. Although the reason for the different findings in the 2 cohorts is unclear, when our findings are considered in the context of other recent population-based studies in developed countries, it appears unlikely that circumcision has a major protective effect against common sexually transmitted infections in these populations, although a small effect cannot be ruled out," wrote the authors.
Most researchers investigating the connection between HIV infection and circumcision disagree with the circumcision method, as it could give men a false security feeling, a fact that could push them towards risky behavior and also put women at risk.