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Male Circumcision Does Not Reduce Sexual Satisfaction

Armen Hareyan's picture

Male circumcision does not reduce levels of sexual desire,satisfaction or performance, according to a study recently publishedin the British Journal of Urology International, BBCNews reports. According to BBC News, thestudy's findings should eliminate reservations about using theprocedure as a method of preventing the spread of HIV (BBCNews, 1/7).

For the study, Ronald Gray of JohnsHopkins BloombergSchool of Public Health and colleagues followed 4,456 sexuallyexperienced boys and men ages 15 to 49 in Uganda who wereHIV-negative. The researchers randomly assigned 2,210 to becircumcised at the onset of the study, while 2,246 had the proceduredelayed for two years. The researchers followed up with both groupsat six, 12 and 24 months and compared information on sexual desire,satisfaction and sexual performance. According to Gray, the study wasconducted as part of an HIV prevention initiative (BlackwellPublishing release, 1/8).

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According to the study, there waslittle difference between the two groups when they were asked abouttheir sexual desire, satisfaction and performance. The study foundthat 98.4% of circumcised participants reported satisfaction,compared with 99.9% in the control group, and that 98.6% of thecircumcised group reported no problems with their ability topenetrate, compared with 99.4% in the control. Marginally morecircumcised participants -- 99.4% -- reported that they had no painduring intercourse, compared with 98.8% of men in the control group,the study found.

Gray said that the "study clearly showsthat being circumcised did not have an adverse effect on the men whounderwent the procedure when we compared them with the men who hadnot yet received surgery." He added, "Other studies alreadyshow that being able to reassure men that the procedure won't affectsexual satisfaction or performance makes them much more likely to becircumcised."

Some groups have warned against usingcircumcision as a primary HIV prevention method, BBC Newsreports. Deborah Jack, chief executive of the NationalAIDS Trust, said, "There is a fear that people that havebeen circumcised will feel they are protected when they are not."She added, "Condoms remain the best way of preventing HIVthrough sexual intercourse." According to Jack, research intoHIV transmission and circumcision has been "limited in itsscope," and further research into new methods and vaccines stillis needed (BBC News, 1/7). John Fitzpatrick ofUniversity College Dublin,who also serves as editor of BJU International, said,"We believe that these findings are very important as they canbe used to support public health messages that promote circumcisionas an effective way of reducing HIV transmission" (Blackwellrelease, 1/8).

Reprinted with permission fromkaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserDaily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and signup for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is publishedfor kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser FamilyFoundation.