Circumcision Less Helpful in Reducing HIV in Gay Sex

Timothy Kincaid

October 7th, 2008

JAMA is reporting that circumcision, which may eliminate HIV transmission in heterosexual sex by up to 50%, is less helpful in male-male anal sex.

The study’s authors wrote that circumcision appears to provide “not statistically significant” protection from HIV in men who engage in anal sex with other men. The researchers said however that more research may be necessary to quantify the amount of protection — or lack thereof — provided by circumcision.

It seems counter-intuitive that a virus’ ability to infect a man would be impacted by the gender of his partner, assuming penetrative-only sex. Somehow I suspect some relevant questions were not addressed.

KipEsquire

October 7th, 2008

What’s so “counterintuitive” about the fact that vaginal tissue is not the same as anal tissue?

Timothy Kincaid

October 7th, 2008

KipEsquire,

Circumcision is not understood to impact the receptive partner but rather to protect the insertive partner.

Erica

October 7th, 2008

I’m generally suspicious of studies which claim there are benefits to circumcision. Finding there’s little difference in anal sex simply makes me believe that any alleged benefit associated with vaginal sex is bogus.

Trevor

October 7th, 2008

Eeeep!

AJD

October 8th, 2008

This is a funny coincidence… After I made my donation to the NoOn8 campaign, I took up Dan Savage on his offer to answer the question of anyone who donated $25 or more and asked him about this, after a study in Australia seemed to suggest that circumcision reduced tops’ risk of getting HIV.

I consider myself fortunate that my mom decided not to have me circumcised. The main reason why circumcision is so widespread in America (even as it has dramatically declined in other English-speaking countries) is because it’s been erroneously assumed to promote health for so long that people take for granted that “clean-cut” means precisely that, while uncut means quite the opposite. Various researchers have been trying to find justifications for circumcision for decades, long after it became clear that it failed to achieve its original goal — preventing masturbation — so pardon my skepticism when people name yet another risk that it supposedly reduces.

Sam

March 12th, 2009

HIV infects men who have sex with men much quicker because of three things:

1. Men can be both pitchers and catchers

2. The anal tissue is weaker than the vagina tissue, bleeds easier. That’s part of the reason why straight porn looks rougher and more pleasing to people, because you just can’t really fuck an ass like you do a vagina usually. Men can still get fucked hard but really it takes a lot of mental preparation for that and is something that must be progressed up to.

3. Men obviously require less grooming for sexual intercourse than women. Gay or straight, men’s sexuality is just different. So if two gay men want to get it on, there is little in the way that is stopping them.

Be careful the first time you have anal sex. Just ‘wrapping it up’ isn’t all there is to it. It’s not like a porn video. Encourage people (ESPECIALLY OUR GAY YOUTH) to have sex with those they know and trust.

Intimacy and healthy relationships are always more important than getting to have anal sex. It can be mind-blowingly pleasurable for gay boys but it’s not all there is to being gay, teach people to use this sexual power responsibly.

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