Monday, January 17, 2011

Uganda: Circumcision as Viral Protection for Female Partners

It seems as though Uganda has been frequenting our blog posts lately. First with yellow fever and now I found an interesting article on the correlation between male circumcision and low rates of cervical cancer. It has been previously shown that circumcision will provide self protection against contracting HIV, and the research now states that a circumcised partner reduces the woman’s risk of contracting a human papillomavirus by about 25%. As we know, the papillomavirus can lead to genital warts as well as cervical cancer.

The study was led by scholars at Johns Hopkins University, and included a sample size of 1,200 heterosexual couples in Uganda. Innovations such as the pap smear and Gardasil vaccine have significantly decreased the rates of cervical cancer in developed nations, but in poor countries up to 250,000 women die from cervical cancer each year.

So it seems that circumcision is a much cheaper and current solution for these poorer countries that may not have easy access to healthcare. The research may not be advanced in technology, but should prove to be effective if applied in various regions that lack access to vaccinations and regular pap smears.

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