Sexually Transmitted Diseases Vol. 38; No. 10: P. 928-931
Male circumcision is unlikely to be a workable HIV prevention
strategy among London MSM, the current study suggests. The
team undertook the research to explore attitudes about
circumcision among MSM in London and to assess the feasibility
of conducting research on circumcision and HIV prevention
among these men.
In May and June 2008, a convenience sample of MSM visiting
gyms in central London completed a confidential, self-
administered questionnaire. The information collected included
demographic characteristics, self-reported HIV status, sexual
behavior, circumcision status, attitudes about circumcision,
and willingness to take part in research on circumcision and
Among the 653 participants, 29 percent reported they were
circumcised. HIV prevalence among the MSM was 23.3 percent and
did not differ significantly between circumcised (18.6
percent) and uncircumcised (25.2 percent) men (adjusted odds
ratio=0.79; 95 percent confidence interval: 0.50-1.26). The
proportion of participants reporting unprotected anal
intercourse in the past three months was similar in the
circumcised (38.8 percent) and uncircumcised (36.7 percent)
groups (AOR=1.06; 95 percent CI: 0.72-1.55). The uncircumcised
MSM were less likely to think there were benefits to being
circumcised compared to the circumcised men (31.2 percent vs.
65.4 percent, P<0.001). Just 10.3 percent of the uncircumcised
men indicated a willingness to take part in research on
circumcision as a strategy to prevent HIV transmission.
"Most uncircumcised MSM in this London survey were unwilling
to participate in research on circumcision and HIV
prevention," the authors concluded. "Only a minority of
uncircumcised men thought that there were benefits of
circumcision. It is unlikely that circumcision would be a
feasible strategy for HIV prevention among MSM in London."