Send to

Choose Destination
J Infect. 2007 May;54(5):490-6. Epub 2006 Sep 25.

Human papillomavirus and circumcision: a meta-analysis.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, 1414 W. Fair Avenue, Suite 226, Marquette, MI 49855, USA.



Determine the relationship of circumcision status to the risk for genital infection with human papillomavirus (HPV).


A MEDLINE search and a review of references in published articles were used to identify publications from peer-reviewed journals in Index Medicus with data on circumcision status in patients with and without HPV infections. Inclusion criteria included diagnosis by culture, biopsy, or PCR, determination of circumcision status by physical examination, and multiple site sampling including the shaft of the penis. A meta-analysis was performed with sensitivity analyses.


Sixteen articles contained data on circumcision status in patients with and without HPV infections. Eight studies used accurate diagnostic methods. Only three articles satisfied the strict inclusion criteria. There was no significant association between circumcision status and HPV infection (random-effects model summary effect OR=1.20, 95%CI=0.80-1.79) in these three studies. If the eight studies using accurate diagnostic methods are adjusted for the method of determining circumcision status and failure to sample the penile shaft using meta-regression the summary effects odds ratio is 1.25 (95%CI=0.95-1.67).


The medical literature does not support the claim that circumcision reduces the risk for genital HPV infection. To correctly assess the risk of HPV infection in circumcised males, the penile shaft needs to be sampled for HPV infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center