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J Infect Dis. 2009 Jan 1;199(1):7-13. doi: 10.1086/595567.

Associations between male anogenital human papillomavirus infection and circumcision by anatomic site sampled and lifetime number of female sex partners.

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  • 1Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, USA.



Male circumcision may lower men's risk of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and reduce transmission to sex partners. Reported associations between circumcision and HPV infection in men have been inconsistent.


Four hundred sixty-three men in 2 US cities were tested at 6 anogenital sites and in semen for 37 types of HPV. Men were eligible if they reported sex with a woman within the past year, no history of genital warts or penile or anal cancer, and no current diagnosis of a sexually transmitted infection. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire. Circumcision status was assessed by the study clinician. Logistic regression was used to examine associations between circumcision and HPV detection at each site and in semen, with adjustment for potential confounders.


Seventy-four men (16.0%) were uncircumcised. Adjusted odds ratios (AORs) for any HPV genotype and circumcision were 0.53 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.28-0.99) for any anatomic site/specimen, 0.17 (95% CI, 0.05-0.56) for the urethra, 0.44 (95% CI, 0.23-0.82) for the glans/corona, and 0.53 (95% CI, 0.28-0.99) for the penile shaft. AORs were <1.0 but not statistically significant for the scrotum, semen, anal canal, and perianal area.


Circumcision may be protective against HPV infection of the urethra, glans/corona, and penile shaft.

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