Circumcision can reduce HIV risk
Circumcision, the removal of the foreskin of the penis, can lessen the chance of one contracting HIV. This is according to medical doctor Alfred Dawes. “There have been studies that have confirmed that males who are circumcised have a decreased chance of contracting the HIV virus,” he told THE WEEKEND STAR.
Dawes said that the foreskin of the penis houses receptors that the HIV virus can affix to and cause one to get infected. “There are actually increased receptors, which are areas of the cell in the body that the HIV virus can attach to in the foreskin. These receptors are greater in number in the foreskin than just the glans or head of the penis or anywhere else. So by removing this foreskin, you decrease the chance of contracting the virus if you are exposed to it,” he said.
However, despite the advantage of doing this, Dawes said that circumcision is not a common practice in Jamaica.
“It is not usually a social practice. With children, it’s the parents who usually request circumcision, but that’s usually the exception rather than the rule. And in adults, it is usually done if the man has a problem retracting the foreskin, then they will come in for a circumcision,” he said.
Noting that the two per cent HIV rate in Jamaica is relatively low, Dawes said that whether a man is circumcised or not, he should still protect himself during sexual intercourse. “It is a proven fact, but it is only one aspect against the spread of the HIV virus. A circumcised male should never think that they are completely safe and not use a condom while having sex,” he said.