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Research reveals Circumcised Young African Men are Less Likely to Contract HIV



A new research from the University of Illinois, Chicago, led by Nelli Westercamp, reveals that young African men who are circumcised are less likely to engage in sexual behaviour that increases the chances of getting HIV.

The New York Daily News reports that the new research builds upon previous studies saying that male circumcision lowers the risk of young men in Africa contracting HIV.

However a few experts think that offering circumcision in communities may encourage a drop in the use of condom and a spike in promiscuity.

Nelli Westercamp and her team with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, studied voluntary medical male circumcision in Kenya between 2008 and 2010.

Within 2 years, half of the 3,186Β  men ages 18-35, studied got circumcised.

All of the men were asked every six months about their sexual behaviours, whether or not they used condoms and how at risk they thought they were for getting HIV. They also attended HIV testing centres.

During the study period, both circumcised and uncircumcised men increased their sexual activity but engagement with multiple partners and exchanging money or gifts for sex did not increase.

Before they got 30% of men thought they were at high risk for HIV, but after, only 14% thought so.

For uncircumcised men, 25% believed they were at high risk of HIV before the study, while 21% believed they were still at high risk when the study ended.

According to the researchers, the numbers suggests that the benefits of offering voluntary circumcision within communities outweigh the risks of doing so.
Photo Credit: Hongqi Zhang (aka Michael Zhang)


  1. Gorgeous

    July 23, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Very weird and confusing study. Does not make sense at all. We should be preaching abstinence or protection. Not all these ones about circumcision or not.

  2. Author Unknown

    July 23, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Is circumcision then linked to sexual behaviour or is there something biologically reducing the risk of HIV infections when the foreskin is removed? I hope it’s just this report that is confusing, and not the research itself.

    • goldfinch

      July 23, 2014 at 8:33 pm

      I think the reason why there is a lower risk is because of the hard scar tissue formed after circumcision.
      I also think that this research is quite misleading. Was the conclusion drawn from the men’s thoughts as stated here:

      “All of the men were asked every six months about their sexual behaviours, whether or not they used condoms and how at risk they thought they were for getting HIV.”

      or was it drawn from proper scientific investigation?
      Maybe I’m not getting the report right.
      If the conclusion was drawn from their thoughts then what kind of “scientific research” is this?

  3. John Doe

    July 23, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Very disturbing and misleading research! HIV/AIDS is very real, Come ask my circumcised HIV patients in clinic. The search has no strong supporting evidence. The incidence of newly diagnosed HIV/AIDs in Africa will continue to raise with stupid articles like this! This article will promote risky behaviors, mislead the average John Doe on transmission, and increase death relating to HIV/AIDS.
    Protect yourself by abstaining, using a condon or engaging in monogamous relationship, the only person who can advocate for u is you so please don’t trust anyone or any research stating male circumcision drops the rate of contracting the virus. The HIV/AIDs is a real health epidemic, it is claiming lives everyday, Get tested today, seek help and know your HIV status.

  4. bruno

    July 23, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    The people above me have sense, by the way, can we stop this stupid myth that says gay men are responsible for the spread of hiv,may be in america the spread of HIV is common amongst gay people,but in africa, nigeria in particular the spread of HIV is caused by polygamy, ignorance (having sex with a virgin will cure ur HIV) etc. remember Fela died of Aids and he was straight.

  5. Someone

    July 23, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Research like this will only lead to one thing and that is increase in the number of HIV patients. The aim of this baseless research may be to increase HIV patients so more money will be spent on antiretroviral drugs.


    July 23, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    Is that their way of asserting that HIV is our disease?. ..”look their rates are low because they are getting infected.”
    Brothers, please continue to protect yourselves. HIV does not respect any gender or race.
    HIV was imported to Africa. Let’s not make it any worse than it is.


    July 23, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Meant*** Their rates are low because they are not getting the infection***

  8. mustapha razak

    July 24, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    If to say men circumcision help reduce the risk of HIV. Then it means. FGM should be encourage.

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