VMMC protects women against STIs

A systematic review of 81 peer-reviewed studies and abstracts, published 31 January 2019 in Frontiers in Public Health, provides evidence that male circumcision is a powerful tool to reduce women’s risk of cervical cancer and several sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The researchers found that data from randomised controlled trials and other studies confirm that having a circumcised partner reduces a woman’s risk of cancer-causing types of human papillomavirus, Trichomonas vaginalis, bacterial vaginosis, and possibly genital ulcer disease; male circumcision did not protect against gonorrhea, and the evidence was mixed for other STIs. Co-author John Krieger, professor emeritus at the University of Washington, warns in a blog post that the declining prevalence of male circumcision could lead to global increases in cervical cancer (Postscript, 1 March 2019).