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Sex Transm Infect. 2009 Apr;85(2):116-20. doi: 10.1136/sti.2008.032334. Epub 2008 Dec 15.

Male circumcision and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis and Trichomonas vaginalis: observations after a randomised controlled trial for HIV prevention.

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  • 1INSERM U687, Hôpital Paul Brousse, Villejuif, France.



To assess the association between male circumcision and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis and Trichomonas vaginalis using data from a male circumcision randomised controlled trial.


We used data collected during the male circumcision trial conducted in Orange Farm (South Africa) among men aged 18-24 years. Altogether, 1767 urine samples collected during the final follow-up visit were analysed using PCR. Prevalence of N gonorrhoeae, C trachomatis and T vaginalis was assessed as a function of male circumcision using odds ratios (OR) given by univariate and multivariate logistic regression.


In an intention-to-treat analysis, prevalence of N gonorrhoeae, C trachomatis and T vaginalis among intervention and control groups were 10.0% versus 10.3% (OR 0.97; p = 0.84), 2.1% versus 3.6% (OR 0.58; p = 0.065) and 1.7% versus 3.1% (OR 0.54; p = 0.062), respectively. The association between T vaginalis and male circumcision remained borderline when controlling for age, ethnic group, number of lifetime partners, marital status, condom use and HIV status (AOR 0.48; p = 0.069). In the as-treated analysis, this association became significant (OR 0.49, p = 0.030; AOR 0.41, p = 0.030).


This study demonstrates for the first time that male circumcision reduces T vaginalis infection among men. This finding explains why women with circumcised partners are less at risk for T vaginalis infection than other women. The protective effect on T vaginalis is an additional argument to recommend male circumcision in Africa where it is acceptable.

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