Israeli study shows circumcision reduces risk of HIV infection

August 20, 2015 15:26

The lower risk among heterosexual men in low-prevalence countries like Israel of contracting HIV - the AIDS virus - because they are circumcised has been shown for the first time in a study by Health Ministry AIDS experts.

Dr. Daniel Chemtob, director of the ministry’s department of Tuberculosis and AIDS, and colleagues have just published the study in the open-access Israel Journal of Health Policy Research. The researchers compared Israel, which almost all heterosexual males - Jewish and Muslim - are circumcised, to the Netherlands and France, where only minorities of males are circumcised.

“We showed that global annual rates of new HIV diagnoses were much lower in Israel, both among men and women.” While the protective effect of male circumcision on HIV prevalence has been shown in countries with a high prevalence of HIV, until this study, such results  have not be observed in the general heterosexual population in a country with a relatively low rate of HIV, Chemtob and colleagues wrote.

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