Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision May Reduce Risk for HIV Infection

Findings seen in men who mainly practice insertive anal intercourse, who had two or more male sex partners in the previous six months
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

TUESDAY, May 28, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- For men who have sex with men (MSM), voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) is associated with a reduced risk for HIV infection, according to a study published online May 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Yanxiao Gao, M.D., Ph.D., from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shenzhen, and colleagues examined the efficacy of VMMC in preventing incident HIV infection among MSM in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with up to 12 months of follow-up. The trial included uncircumcised, HIV-seronegative men with two or more male partners in the previous six months and who mainly practiced insertive anal intercourse. Rapid testing for HIV was conducted at baseline and at three, six, nine, and 12 months.

A total of 124 and 123 men were enrolled in the intervention and control groups, contributing 120.7 and 123.1 person-years of observation, respectively. The researchers found no seroconversions in the intervention group compared with five in the control group (0 versus 4.1 infections per 100 person-years). The hazard ratio for HIV was 0.09 and the incidence of HIV was lower in the intervention group. No significant difference was seen between the groups for incidence rates of syphilis, herpes simplex virus type 2, or penile human papillomavirus. No evidence of HIV risk compensation was seen.

"Large-scale RCTs with longer-term follow-up may be considered to further confirm these findings, although the consistent observational and experimental findings of protection may raise ethical concerns for future trials," the authors write.

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