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Sex Transm Dis. 2007 Jul;34(7):479-84.

Prevalence of circumcision and herpes simplex virus type 2 infection in men in the United States: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 1999-2004.

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  • 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.



To study the prevalence of circumcision in the United States and to examine the association between circumcision and herpes simplex virus Type 2 (HSV-2) infection.


As part of National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 1999 to 2004, 6174 men were interviewed about circumcision status and sexual behaviors, and were tested for HSV-2 antibodies. Medical artwork was used to aid the reporting of circumcision status.


The overall prevalence of circumcision was 79% and varied by race/ethnicity (88% in non-Hispanic whites, 73% in non-Hispanic blacks, 42% in Mexican Americans, and 50% in others). For men born in the United States from 1940 through 1979, the prevalence of circumcision increased, with larger increases in non-Hispanic blacks and Mexican Americans than in non-Hispanic whites; the prevalence of circumcision decreased significantly in those born in the 1980s (84%) compared to those born in 1970s (91%) (P <0.001). Circumcision status was not associated with sexual behaviors we assessed. In multivariate analyses, circumcision was not associated with HSV-2 infection (P = 0.47).


The prevalence of circumcision apparently peaked in those born in the 1970s and declined in those born in the 1980s. Circumcision was not associated with HSV-2 infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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