Do penile cutting practices other than full circumcision protect against HIV?

Kaldor, John M., MacLaren, David, McBride, John, Siba, Peter, and Vallely, Andrew (2014) Do penile cutting practices other than full circumcision protect against HIV? BMC Infectious Diseases, 14 (Suppl 2). p. 17.

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Introduction: Male circumcision provides a high level of protection against sexually acquired HIV infection and is a key element of prevention in countries with extensive heterosexual transmission. In some countries, penile cutting practices other than full circumcision are a part of the cultural landscape, raising the question of their ability to modify the risk of HIV. One such country is Papua New Guinea.

Methods: We reviewed information on prevalence of HIV, sexually transmitted infection (STI), and penile cutting practices, and their possible relationships.

Results: Based on antenatal testing, the prevalence of HIV infection among pregnant women in Papua New Guinea is around 0.9%. Surveys of STI in pregnant women have found prevalences of chlamydia, gonorrhoea and trichomonas in the range 15-25%, and infectious syphilis at 2-3%. In three studies of penile cutting around half the men have some form of procedure; 10% had full foreskin removal with a further 30-40% having dorsal slits, with lateral retraction of the foreskin and exposure of the glans. There is evidence of an inverse geographic correlation between HIV prevalence and partial cutting practice.

Conclusions: Levels of curable STIs in Papua New Guinea are very high by international levels, while HIV infection is at moderate levels compared to the countries in which male circumcision is now being promoted. The role of partial penile cutting procedures deserves further examination to see whether it provides protection, and if so what this tells us of the biology of HIV transmission.

Item ID: 39287
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1471-2334
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Presented at the International Symposium HIV and Emerging Infectious Diseases 2014, 21-23 May 2014, Marseille, France.

© 2014 Kaldor et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2016 03:19
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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