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Arch Sex Behav. 2013 Oct;42(7):1319-26. doi: 10.1007/s10508-012-0061-1. Epub 2013 Jan 29.

Circumcision and HIV infection among men who have sex with men in Britain: the insertive sexual role.

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School of Health Sciences, City University London, 20 Bartholomew Close, London, EC1A 7QN, UK.


The objective was to examine the association between circumcision status and self-reported HIV infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Britain who predominantly or exclusively engaged in insertive anal intercourse. In 2007-2008, a convenience sample of MSM living in Britain was recruited through websites, in sexual health clinics, bars, clubs, and other venues. Men completed an online survey which included questions on circumcision status, HIV testing, HIV status, sexual risk behavior, and sexual role for anal sex. The analysis was restricted to 1,521 white British MSM who reported unprotected anal intercourse in the previous 3 months and who said they only or mostly took the insertive role during anal sex. Of these men, 254 (16.7 %) were circumcised. Among men who had had a previous HIV test (n = 1,097), self-reported HIV seropositivity was 8.6 % for circumcised men (17/197) and 8.9 % for uncircumcised men (80/900) (unadjusted odds ratio [OR], 0.97; 95 % confidence interval [95 % CI], 0.56, 1.67). In a multivariable logistic model adjusted for known risk factors for HIV infection, there was no evidence of an association between HIV seropositivity and circumcision status (adjusted OR, 0.79; 95 % CI, 0.43, 1.44), even among the 400 MSM who engaged exclusively in insertive anal sex (adjusted OR, 0.84; 95 % CI, 0.25, 2.81). Our study provides further evidence that circumcision is unlikely to be an effective strategy for HIV prevention among MSM in Britain.

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