For Gay Men, Cutting Off Your Foreskin Still Not As Good As Condoms To Keep The HIV At Bay

As the on-going scientific battle over whether circumcision actually inhibits HIV transmission rages on (it does! it doesn’t!), here’s the newest entry from the world of science, via Retuers: “While circumcision has been shown to lower a man’s risk of contracting HIV through heterosexual sex, a new study indicates that the value of circumcision for gay and bisexual men remains questionable. In a study of more than 1,800 men from the U.S. and Peru, researchers found that overall, the risk of contracting HIV over 18 months did not significantly differ between circumcised and uncircumcised men. Over the study period, 5 percent of the 1,365 uncircumcised men became HIV-positive, as did 4 percent of the 457 circumcised men, according to findings published in the journal AIDS.”

Pair that with a study back in March, also reported by Retuers, that compared other Western MSM against African MSW and found similarly unimpressive results: snipping the foreskin just doesn’t do much for The Gays.

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  • Chad

    How exactly does circumcision reduce HIV transmission? Is it like a surface area thing?

  • divkid

    The vast majority of guys here in Britain are uncut (notwithstanding the usual honourable exceptions). I’m told this diferent in the U.S. No? Or is it a generation thing?

    Personally i love me some cavalier, alas i’m a roundhead. :(

  • Andrew

    Why are so many Americans circumcised? It can’t be because of faith.

  • Bob

    Circumcision in the USA is big business. Doctors continue to make money off of ignorant parents at the expense of pain to newborn baby boys. This is done mostly at the request of the mother who was led to believe that a circumcised penis has the right look. This infant mutilation should be totally outlawed. It serves no purpose. It started in the USA to try to stop Victorian era boys from masturbating. Did it do so? No. If anything similar was done to infant girls, women would be taking to the streets in protest. If a man wants this done, it should be at his request in adulthood.

  • gregger

    @Andrew: It was supposedly a hygiene issue. That’s a load of bs though.


    I don’t usually care if Mr Peen sports a turtleneck sweater or not. However I think it gots to do with personal hygeine. If ya don’t stay on top of the daily cleaning the folds can become a breeding grounds for lots of nasty little pathogens….. Once upon a time when I peeled back the skin to get to the fruit, I honestly thought I was going to pass out from the absolute stench that hit me in the face like a hard smack.

    The (unfortunately totally hott) guy could not understand why my phone that did not ring delivered a call of utmost importance which forced me to get dressed and out the door in a freakin nanosecond……… :p

  • Cassandra

    “How exactly does circumcision reduce HIV transmission? Is it like a surface area thing?”

    The inner surface of the foreskin has more of a particular kind of skin cell, that HIV is particularly good at penetrating. If regular skin cells are like a security door keeping germs out, these particular cells are more like a screen door with a few rips.

  • divkid

    @cassandra: thanks for science nugget. Fascinating. Like totally win.

    @playswithothers: thanks for nuthin’ dude — like totally ruined my meal. Its now in the bin. You owe me a replacement; nothing with cheese.


    @divkid: Damm, guess I shudda posted a potential lunch spoiler :p

  • Henry Holland

    I got circumcised because my parents are Catholics, is what I was told. I’m glad I did though! No head cheese issues, plus my cock head isn’t deformed and discolored like so many uncut guys is.

  • Jeff K.

    It was originally begun in the U.S. to make it harder for little boys to masturbate (thanks, Puritains). After that, it was continued for a number of reasons including daddies wanting junior to “look like them,” women being culturally conditioned to think of the natural male anatomy as “disgusting,” and doctors making lots of money selling baby foreskins to pharmaceutical companies.

    It’s more hygienic in the same way that cutting off your nose keeps you from having boogers, and pulling all your teeth keeps you from getting cavities. It’s a permanent genital mutilation and I wish it would stop.

  • divkid

    @Henry Holland, I’m from a catholic family never heard of that…
    “…deformed and discoloured like so many uncut guys… ” never heard/seen that (thank merciful christ)!

    That cant be true because the foreskin serves to protect the glans from damage or…err…?accidental stimulation? …like clitoris hood?!

    Help!…Out of my depth… Brain overboard!

  • Jeff K.

    @divkid: He has it backwards. What he thinks of as discoloration is actually the normal appearance of penile tissue. Circumcised penises appear dull and calloused-over and this is probably what he thinks of as ‘normal.’

  • Jeffree

    My dad was born in 1958 and says that in the era almost *every* male got circumscised. Moms and dads weren’t even informed it was “optional”. I don’t know if that was true across the US.

    For those of us born in the 1980s it wasn’t automatically done in my section of the lower Midwest. Maybe 40% of guys in my h.s, were uncut?

    All of my European mates/bfs were/are uncut except those with Jewish parents.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones


    Personally i love me some cavalier, alas i’m a roundhead. :(

    Huh? I’ve been around, divkid, but I don’t know what this means. I thought Cavaliers, and Roundheads were soldiers. How does it apply to cut and uncut? Is it a UK slang?

  • Pip

    Why is Queerty comparing getting circumcised to using a condom during sex?

  • divkid

    @enemabag jones:

    alludes to the cavaliers indulgence of all things baroque and ruffully … cascading plumes adorning exuberant headwear:

    whereas the roundheads rude bare helmet refers to…ah,.never mind

    Citation: urban dictionary.
    Roundhead: A circumcised male sex organ.
    Comes from the historic term of round heads and cavaliers.
    by Alex21 Jul 11, 2005 share this

    See I didn’t make it up. It iS slang. And yet still somehow rather refined.,dont ya’ know

    *sips supercilliosly from a bone china tea cup extending pinky*

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones


    Ah…I understand now. I was a bit confused, what with the Pet Shop Boys lyrics:

    I didn’t want to compete, or play out on the street/
    For in a secret life I was a round head general/

    *sips supercilliosly from a bone china tea cup extending pinky*

    Damn right! You get that pinky in the air, good and high!

    As far as circumcision in the UK, you wrote:

    The vast majority of guys here in Britain are uncut

    That was what I thought, until a friendly Londoner stated it was more like 50% each way. He claimed “Northerners” rarely are, and “Southerners” always are. But he didn’t say north, or south of where.

    Oddly the vast majority of UK men I’ve “known” have not been circumcised, yet here you are. So, are you northern, or southern?

    Am I getting too personal here?

  • edfu

    The reason circumcision doesn’t cut HIV transmission among gay men is because so many practice anal intercourse. If you compared cut and uncut gay men who are 100% tops, you’d see the same reduction that is seen among cut and uncut straight men. The cells in the foreskin act like a vacuum cleaner.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones


    If you compared cut and uncut gay men who are 100% tops, you’d see the same reduction that is seen among cut and uncut straight men.

    Uh…Actually, no. A study was conducted that showed less a 2% difference in seroconversion between exclusive tops who are circumcised, and exclusive tops who were not.

  • divkid

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones:

    GET as personal as you want matey–go on snuggle riiiight-in there –coz it’s universally acknowledged, us northern lads are as friendly ‘n’ welcoming a lot as ya’ ever likely to meet.<AVOID direct eye contact. <NEVER kiss on lips. <Keep credit cards HIDDEN.

    FIRST the lyrics.That same reference struck me too — so neither of us is gettin' out much then, eh? ;dirty minds stinking alike. Pure coincidence, Neil's writing,bless, is never as clever, nor as witty as yours or mine. We are special. Remember that. Charming mental-image non the less (and, yes hark-at-you wich'ya 80's electro-pop-cultural references)-Tick.

    AND SO to the meat of the issue: but first an excursion: YOUR EXCURSION: ..Have to say, when YOU go-a-travlin, you **REALLY** like to do your research. Tick. And,.. ahem,.. TICK.

    UNLIKE YOU it would appear, I'M barely making a dent in the WHOLE uk male population — (but ya'know, I'm puttin' in the hours, and punching in that clock) — and until that official gvmnt peen-inspectors' job comes on stream, I aint gonna lie to ya, circumcision satistics: i aint got jack. But themz is still 100% more accurate than those which your cock-en-ney chums are bring'n…Oh yesss speakin' of those…
    *screws up up eyes, affects best, what-would-Alexis-Carrington-Colby-do expression*

    ////////make me stop some-body this is waaay more camp than im comfortable with. people can i get an intervention\\\\\\\\

    ..YES…Hmm…"friendly Londoner" (oxymoron) — oh and why be coy, were amongst friends you can say "trick". The Oracle He say 50/50 cut and uncut…And as statisticians say: Bat. Shit. Crazy. Muthafuka!

    …AND the OTHER ONE, help me out here I'm losing track…Sooo many. Seriously shame on you…He would be: (roughtrade. No?). Anyhow, HE MAD. The, If-you-gave-out- your-address-to-him-you-need-to-move-states-NOW, type of CRAZY-mad!

    LET ME TELL YOU Ive seem more frilly neck. **DOWN SOUTH**, err, well, down south, than at a frikin' reptile house, gathering for a convention of frill-neck lizard apprieciators, vIewing plenty of lizard neck appreciatively.
    /////just say FORESKIN will ya, he's alluding to FORESKIN people. jeeez////////
    [ frill lizard, frilly-neck lizard, frilly lizard, frilly dragon; latin name Chlamydosaurus kingii] since you were wondering and i know you were…. Seriously you should google them. Or, like go see them. Just Adorable..And their kinda remind me of something,. .no its gone…….What were we talkin' about…

    praying no psychological profiler ever gets to see this. praying

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones


    I have to admit, divkid, I had to read your reply three times before I got most of it. However, it’s one of the funniest comments I’ve read on Queerty in five years.

    That said, hiding your credit cards? That’s just common sense, what with Elliot Castro running around, a free man.

    As far as my friendly Londoner, he wasn’t a trick. He’s always been straight as a dyke. Not including Eton. But he’s straight, I swear! I won’t tell his name, but he was named Upper Class Twit Of The Year, 1993.

    I was in Westminster for five weeks to spy on him. It was thought he was stealing from the company. He wasn’t; his secretary was.

    I was in London for a short period of time, and as they say, so many men, so little time. I won’t go into specifics, but needless to say, the proprietor of Prowler Soho paid off his mortgage with the amount of condoms and lube I bought there. You might remember reading about the great latex shortage of 2000. That was me!

    From what I saw, most UK men are intact, and I’m damned glad of it.

  • Norm

    @Bob: Bob, I Agree Fully With All You Said, COMPLETELY!!! I was circumcised at birth and i feel as though i’m missing a huge part of my sexuality all because someone else made the decision to cut off my foreskin. I want a foreskin so bad that i have even thought about surger., But, surgery doesn’t have a good result and could actually end up being a bad thing to do if something happens during healing, or the new foreskin didn’t take and you lost that too. I know about restoration, stretching, but that takes so long and i don’t feel that i could keep up all that work and putting on and keeping a TLC Tugger for several years. I want a long foreskin, one that stays covered even when you’re hard. Guess i’m impatient, i want it now and i want the real thing like it should be, not something similiar. I know, if i want it i will have to work at it and i may not be able to wait and work too. I just feel as though i lost a special part of me that should still be there. It’s just not fair!!! Guys should make decisions about what is done to their bodies. Like yourself, if women were made to cut the skin covering their clit male circumcision would STOP immediately. Why don’t doctors start doing that? Also, foreskin is a big business cause it’s used to make new skin for burn patients. Doctors, hospitals, and burn centers make huge profits off of American males that never have a chance to say NO! It’s not fair, it’s just not fair to us guys that want to keep our skin. If you talk to guys that aren’t cut they will tell you quickly that they would not want to loose their foreskins. Not fair! Just not right to take a part of someone’s body without being able have a say about it. Thanks for letting me vent at least. Norm, Georgia

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