Ask the doctor: Does circumcision help in preventing HIV?

Ask the doctor: Does circumcision help in preventing HIV?

Ask the doctor: Does circumcision help in preventing HIV?

Does circumcision help in preventing HIV?

Many times i hear gentlemen say that they fear to be cicumcised because:(1)-they think it’s a very painful procedure and (2) they are not sure if it actually helps in preventing HIV. While Ministries of Health in various African countries, NGOs and USAID have embarked on the campaign to do and encourage Safe Male Circumcision(SMC), many males are still staying aback.

Safe Male Circumcision(SMC) is the surgical removal of the fore skin(also known as “prepuce”) of a male by a well trained healthcare provider at a proper medical setting. Done by a trained healthcare professional, the process is actually painless and recovery from the procedure usually lasts about 2 weeks or a little longer depending on quality of treatment attained and the living conditions of the patient.

SMC has been proved to reduce the risk of catching HIV up to 60% among heterosexual men. Since that is true, you may be wondering just how SMC reduces your risk of contracting HIV; here’s how:

  1. first; the fore skin is moist and helps the virus to survive and reproduce; so when you remove the foreskin(prepuce), the moist environment is also gone.
  2. second; the foreskin is not keratinized and therefore is very susceptible to tears during intercourse providing a portal of entry for pathogens including HIV; so when you remove the foreskin, the skin of the glans penis grows stronger and such trouble reduces.
  3. third; the foreskin has a high concentration of target cells to which the virus can attach and cause infection. So when you remove the foreskin, you remove such targets, thus reducing the risk of catching HIV.

On top of reducing your chances of catching HIV, SMC has also been associated with protection against other sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis and chancroid.

Therefore considering the explanations above about how the SMC is actually performed painlessly and it’s accorded advantages; you should never fear to go for it, if you’ve not yet had it.

While SMC can provide you with 60% protection, it only confers partial protection and should be coupled with other methods for better results for example;

  1. abstinence
  2. Mutual monogamy between a couple that knows it’s HIV negative
  3. Reducing the number of sexual partners
  4. Correct and consistent use of condoms
  5. Avoid sharing sharp instruments

If you want to know more about ongoing circumcision campaigns, please visit the closest health center or consult any of our professional online doctors at who can give you expert advice and information about the circumcision as instantly as you need it.

About the author

Samuel Kagamba is a medical doctor,computer programmer and entrepreneur; very passionate about developing technologies to improve healthcare delivery in Africa.Off duty, he loves soccer and making new friends.Follow him on twitter
@samuelkagamba or email him at facebook account: Samuel Kagamba.

Samuel Kagamba – who has written posts on Aferdoc Blog.

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