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Circumcision helps stop wart virus, study finds

Researchers have documented yet another health benefit for circumcision, which can protect men against the AIDS virus, saying it can protect their wives and girlfriends from a virus that causes cervical cancer.

Wives and girlfriends of circumcised men had a 28 percent lower rate of infection over two years with the human papilloma virus or HPV, which causes warts and cervical cancer, they reported in the Lancet medical journal on Thursday.

"Our findings indicate that male circumcision should now be accepted as an efficacious intervention for reducing the prevalence and incidence of HPV infections in female partners. However, protection is only partial; the promotion of safe sex practices is also important," Dr. Maria Wawer and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore wrote.

Wawer's team piggybacked the HPV study onto a larger study that has shown circumcised men are less likely to be infected with the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS.

"We enrolled HIV-negative men and their female partners between 2003 and 2006, in Rakai, Uganda," they wrote in their report in the Lancet medical journal.

They were able to get details on HPV infections for nearly 1,000 of the women, all identified by men as long-term sex partners such as wives. After two years, 27.8 percent of the steady partners of circumcised men had HPV infections, compared to 38.7 percent of the partners of uncircumcised men.
 
 

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