Circumcision is usually not medically required, but can be done for a variety of reasons - from cultural traditions, religious beliefs, to personal hygiene. Interestingly, some countries such as Africa also promote adult circumcision as an HIV prevention program.
What are the facts behind the benefits of circumcision? Is it true that circumcision can prevent HIV transmission in adult men?
Benefits of circumcision to protect men from HIV transmission
Circumcision is the surgical procedure for removing the foreskin of the penis, prepuce eyebrows. There are three medical evidence that circumcision can reduce a man's risk of HIV by 60 percent.
The same thing was echoed by the Institute for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, CDC. CDC found that medically, in addition to preventing HIV transmission, the benefits of circumcision also help reduce the risk of other venereal diseases that can be transmitted through unprotected sex.
The procedure for circumcision is also reported to reduce the risk of men contracting genital herpes and HPV infection, which is believed to be a risk factor for penile cancer. In fact, circumcision during childhood is known to provide protection from penile cancer, which only occurs in the skin of the foreskin.
However, circumcision has not been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection acquired through oral or anal sex, nor reduce the risk of HIV transmission to female partners.
How can HIV spread through the penis foreskin?
Having foreskin is the number one risk factor for HIV infection in heterosexual men. Men who are not circumcised are at risk of being infected with HIV to 2-8 times higher than men who have been circumcised.
The HIV virus itself can spread through penetration of unprotected sex. When penetration occurs without a condom (penis enters the vagina or penis into the anus), there will be direct friction between the skin of the penis and the wall of the vagina (or anus). This friction is prone to causing abrasions.
This wound can be an entry point for disease-causing viruses and bacteria, which come from the semen or vaginal fluids of your sex partner who are infected by the disease.
Not only that. When a man is not circumcised, water vapor can be trapped between his penis and foreskin, thus creating an ideal environment for disease-causing pathogens to multiply. Moreover, there are several other problems related to the skin of the foreskin that are not circumcised, such as being difficult to pull back or even jam /doormat, can also cause injury while trapping viruses and bacteria around it.
Non-circumcised men are also more likely to transmit every infection they have, including yeast infections, urinary tract infections (UTI), and venereal diseases (especially HPV and HIV), such as genital herpes, genital ulcers, chancroids and syphilis in their sex partners.
Uncircumcised penis can even make a female partner You have a risk of venereal disease up to five times higher, including genital herpes, trichomonas vaginalis, bacterial vaginosis, sexually transmitted HPV (which causes cervical cancer), and possibly chlamydia, rather than women who have sex with a circumcised man.
Circumcised or not, still use condoms
Circumcised or not is a personal choice of each man. Both types of penis can function equally in circumcised and uncircumcised men. In fact, penis problems such as impotence, premature ejaculation, and transmission of venereal disease can also occur in both circumcised and uncircumcised men - depending on the risk factors you have.
Therefore, it is important to understand that circumcision is not a guarantee protection method that frees you from HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, especially as a substitute for condoms. Using a condom is still the best and most effective way to protect yourself from HIV and venereal disease if you are sexually active.
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