Circumcision may Lower the Risk of HIV Infection

Condom is one of the common prevention methods against sexual transmitted infection and HIV infection. Studies suggests that male circumcision decreases the sexual transmitted infection such as Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV-2), Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and 50-60% reduction in HIV infection. Circumcision is hypothesized to change the anatomical and microbiological of penis. Circumcision removes the foreskin and reduces the number of HIV target cells. The removal reduce the moist environment, hence modify the microbial community at genital area.

Sexual Transmitted Disease, HIV


Studies have reported that the bacterial infection is possible to increase the risk of HIV infection where the bacteria could induce local penis immune response which trigger the inflammation. Consequently, it enhances the HIV target cells.

A recent study published in mBio Journal, researchers reported that male circumcision significantly reduced the genital bacterial infection and could reduce the HIV infection. In the study, 79 circumcised and 77 uncircumcised men were studied and compared on the coronal sulcus microbiota abundance. In the findings, reduction of coronal sulcus bacterial numbers, compositions and biodiversity were noted. Previous studies suggested that bacterias may increases the susceptible of HIV infection. In uncircumcised men, the bacteria may increase the HIV target cells and increase the risk of infection. Researchers suggests that further studies are required to determine association of HIV target cells recruitment or susceptibility and the HIV risk reduction in circumcision men.

Male circumcision could be a preventive way against sexual transmitted infection and HIV infection. It is not only protect male partners but also female partners.


  1. American Society for Microbiology