Circumcision reduces risk of some STIs

Male circumcision may be even more beneficial for sexual health than previously thought, scientists have said.

The practice is already known to reduce a man's chances of acquiring HIV infection during heterosexual intercourse.

A new study by researchers in the US and Uganda has now shown that it may also reduce a man's risk of acquiring genital herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

This means that circumcision may help to reduce the incidence of genital warts and cervical, anal and penile cancers.

However, the study, which involved 3,393 men and is published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that circumcision had no impact on a man's risk of catching syphilis.

"This new research provides compelling evidence that circumcision can provide some protection against genital herpes and human papillomavirus infections," said Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID).

Co-author Dr Thomas Quinn, chief of the international HIV/STD section in NIAID's Laboratory of Immunoregulation, added: "This new research confirms the substantial health benefits of male circumcision, including reduced acquisition of HIV, genital herpes, HPV and genital ulcer disease."

Circumcision can be carried out at private hospitals in the UK, including Spire Healthcare Hospitals, which typically charge between £1,000 and £1,500 for the procedure.

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