July 16, 1997

Advantages and Disadvantages of Neonatal Circumcision

Author Affiliations

University of Chicago Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1997;278(3):201-202. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550030041022

To the Editor.  —Dr Laumann and colleagues1 conclude that with respect to STDs "there is no evidence of a prophylactic role for circumcision and a slight tendency in the opposite direction." However, the authors did not consider one important aspect of the relationship, if any, between male circumcision and the risk of STDs including cervical cancer in their female partners. Hunter et al2 found that women whose partners are uncircumcised are at increased risk of STDs, including HIV. Human papillomavirus (HPV), which plays an important role in the pathogenesis of cervical cancer,3 also is sexually transmitted, although men are frequently asymptomatic. Several studies have shown that women whose sexual partners are uncircumcised are at increased risk of cervical cancer secondary to HPV.4,5 These findings deserve further examination and, if confirmed, would be important information for parents and physicians to consider in deciding whether to circumcise or recommend circumcision of