New Research on Why Circumcision May Help Prevent HIV
April 17, 2013
by Kate Goodin
Although the AAP's latest stance on circumcision leans in favor of the procedure, many parents view it as a personal choice to make for their sons.
New research reported by the Los Angeles Times, however, adds to the mounting evidence of the medical benefits of circumcision, and explains why it can reduce the chances of contracting AIDS. The procedure could prevent the collection of bacteria on the foreskin, which is less taxing on the immune system and leaves it better at hindering HIV.
Cindy M. Liu, the author of the study, which was published in the microbiology journal mBio, said that removing the foreskin of the penis is similar to "rolling back a rock and seeing the ecosystem change." The idea is if you remove a shelter for bacteria—especially anaerobic bacteria, which needs to be fought off with HIV-prone T4 cells—there won't be a need to bring those T4 cells out, leaving the immune system better equipped to resist HIV.
The Times also referenced studies on circumcision in the past twenty years, which have shown circumcision decreases a heterosexual male's chances of contracting HIV by 50 to 60 percent.
How did you make the choice to circumcise or leave your sons intact? Share in the comments.