The benefits of medical male circumcision have been proven to also extend to women. Research indicates that female partners of men who are circumcised have a lower risk…
Women are now being made aware of the benefits of male circumcision
The benefits of medical male circumcision have been proven to also extend to women. Research indicates that female partners of men who are circumcised have a lower risk of contracting the Human papillomavirus (HPV) – a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer. HPV causes cervical cancer in women and also causes penile cancer in men.
For many years, men have been the direct recipients of messages on medical male circumcision and its benefits. One of them being that it reduces the risk of HIV infection in men. Now women are being made aware that having a circumcised partner does not only protect him, but also protects the woman from getting the Human papillomavirus (HPV), which ultimately leads to cancer.
Circumcision decreases transfer of HPV to women
Cindra Feuer from the Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention (AVAC) explains. “A man who is circumcised... [is] less likely to transmit HPV,… herpes and other sexually transmitted infections…. The reason why circumcision is protective is because when a man has a foreskin, there are cells in the foreskin that attract HIV, so they are more vulnerable to HIV than if there was no foreskin.” The warm place, under the foreskin is ideal for the growth of bacteria.
A random study done in Uganda between 2003 and 2006 investigated whether an HIV negative circumcised man can reduce the chances of his HIV-negative female partner from contracting HPV. After 24 months, the study found that more than 38% of women whose partners were uncircumcised had high risk HPV infection compared to 27,8% of women whose partners were circumcised.
Study’s findings recommended
From the study’s findings it is now recommended that medical male circumcision should be accepted as an effective intervention for reducing the prevalence and incidence of HPV infection in women.
Women lack information as to how male circumcision benefits them
It would seem there is a lack of information out there for women about the benefits of medical male circumcision. Dr Dimakatso Lebina of Zuzimpilo Medical Centre in downtown Johannesburg, says there are small, but steady efforts to make this information available.
“Now there is a shift towards that change because we know, as healthcare professionals, women utilise the services more than men. And unless the women were not informed of these benefits, we would not have as many men as we are having now to request the services. Some men are brought by their partners who have read about these benefits”, she says.
Information sourced from Health-e, original article by Ayanda Mkhwanazi
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