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January 26, 2010

Male Circumcision Shown to Prevent HPV Infections in Female Partners

A study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that male circumcision reduced the prevalence and incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections in female partners. HPV infection causes cervical cancer in women.

Previous studies by the research team showed that male circumcision reduced a man’s risk of acquiring HIV by nearly 50 percent as well as reduced the risk of aquiring genital warts, herpes virus and HPV.

The study was published in January 15 edition of The Lancet.

A separate study conducted by Hopkins researchers and published in the Journal of Infectious Disease examines how specific target cells, which are abundant in the male foreskin tissue, enable HIV to infect the body. The research provides a biological explanation as to why removal of the male foreskin reduces the risk of HIV acquisition.

Both studies were based on randomized of circumcised men in conducted in Rakai, Uganda in collaboration with the Rakai Health Sciences Program.

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Media contact: Tim Parsons, director of Public Affairs, at 410-955-7619 or  tmparson@jhsph.edu.