Although male circumcision has been around for a long time, the rates have decreased over the years, from eighty percent in the 1960s to seventy percent in 2010. This decrease is partly due to changes in norms and cultural beliefs, but there are still several benefits of circumcision. Here are some of them: Reduces risk of HIV A meta-analysis of 43 studies showed that circumcision had a significant protective effect on HIV and STIs in MSM. Circumcision reduces HIV/STIs by around 20% The protective effect was strongest among MSM in low and middle-income countries. It is not clear how long circumcision has been associated to a lower risk of HIV. More research is needed to determine if circumcision protects against HIV. The penile area's immune cell density is a key factor in reducing HIV infection. Without circumcision, the penile tissues become infected with IL-8 and reduce the immune system's ability against HIV infection. A circumcision can also reduce local inflammation in penile tissues and preserve barrier integrity. Although it is not possible to prove this association using paired skin biopsies at the moment, several studies have shown that IL-8 levels decrease for up to two years after circumcision. Reduces risk of penile cancer In developed countries, penile cancer is rare. Its incidence has declined from 0.84 per 100,000 males in the late 1970s down to 0.58 per 100,000 by the mid-1990s. A study of 5,000 men in the SEER database from 1998 to 2003 found a slightly higher incidence among Hispanics than in non-Hispanic men, and the disease was more common in southern states, which have a lower socioeconomic status. However, not all HPV strains have been linked to penile cancer. HPV infection is a major risk factor for penile cancer. It affects the penis as well as the rest of your genital area. Although most people infected by the virus will not develop penile cancer from it, anyone with a penis can be at risk. Penile cancer can affect both males and females, as well as intersex individuals. Knowing your risk factors for penile cancer can help you make health care and lifestyle choices that reduce your chances. Reduces risk of genital herpes Researchers have discovered that circumcisions are less common in men who are prone to developing genital herpes. Researchers have identified two risk factors for genital herpes: HSV-2 and HIV. HSV-2, which can cause genital uvulas, is more likely to develop in men who have been circumcised than in women. Researchers also found that circumcision significantly reduced HIV risk. The study doesn't explain why circumcision decreases HIV risk. The inner foreskin is covered with a thinner layer than the penile shaft or outer foreskin. HIV can't be spread into living tissue because of the insoluble layer made up of non-viable cells. In addition, circumcision reduces the density of HIV-target cells in exposed skin. This could explain why circumcision can reduce the risk of developing genital herpes. Reduces risk of STIs Recent research indicates that male circumcision significantly reduces the risk of certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for men and women. Researchers found that circumcision reduced the risk of cervical cancer, HPV, and bacterial vignanosis in men. They could not conclude that circumcision protects against either chlamydia or gonorrhea. This study is the first step towards understanding if male circumcision reduces the chance of sexually transmitted diseases. Recent research in Uganda found that circumcised men had a 25% lower risk of developing genital herpes, and a 33% lower risk of HPV. This is the virus responsible for genital cancer and genital warts. Aaron A.R., a Johns Hopkins researcher, also conducted a study. Tobian found that the risk of HIV infection in heterosexual sex was reduced by circumcision. The researchers are now studying whether circumcision can prevent the spread of HPV to female partners. Reduces the risk of urogenital and genital herpes The polymerase chain reaction test can be used to confirm the presence of herpesvirus in cells or secretions. The test is more sensitive than a culture test. A positive test will in most cases reduce the risk of contracting herpes urinae. However, positive tests don't necessarily mean that you have herpes. It is also a good idea to use a condom when having sexual intercourse. Recurring outbreaks usually last two to four weeks and are less painful than the initial episode. The first year of the outbreak is generally free of symptoms. In some cases, menstrual periods and illness can trigger outbreaks. Fortunately, treatment can reduce recurrences. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as you notice a new outbreak. There are no cures for herpes.