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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 1999 Dec;13(12):709-16.

Female genital mutilation: complications and risk of HIV transmission.

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Hostos Community College, Bronx, New York, USA.


There are over 100 million girls and women who have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that another 2 million are subject to it every year. FGM is practiced in many countries, especially Africa and parts of the Middle East. Various degrees of FGM are prevalent, the most mutilating one being infibulation (pharaonic). With infibulation there are numerous life-long health problems such as hemorrhage, infection, dyspareunia, genital ulcers, and gynecological and obstetrical complications. It has been postulated that FGM may also play a significant role in facilitating the transmission of HIV infection through numerous mechanisms. In this article several of the most common complications are discussed and helpful suggestions for management during pregnancy and delivery are explored. Included are the legal and ethical ramifications.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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