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Male circumcision fends off the most common STDs

Operation offers partial protection against genital herpes and human papillomavirus

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4:59pm, March 25, 2009

Male circumcision offers a degree of protection against genital herpes and human papillomavirus infections, scientists report in the March 26 New England Journal of Medicine. Previous research shows circumcision can also protect against HIV, which means the operation can fend off the three most common viral sexually transmitted diseases — all of which are currently incurable.

The new findings, from a study of men and adolescent boys in Uganda, show that circumcision provides only partial protection against these three viruses, and the researchers caution that it should not be considered a full shield.

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