Objectives: New evidence linking lack of circumcision with sexually transmitted human immunodeficiency virus revives concerns about circumcision and other sexually transmitted diseases. This study was undertaken to assess the relationship between circumcision and syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydial infection, genital herpes, nongonococcal urethritis, and exophytic genital warts.
Methods: A cross-sectional study of 2776 heterosexual men attending a sexually transmitted disease clinic in 1988 was used to investigate the relationship between circumcision and sexually transmitted diseases. Subjects with specific sexually transmitted diseases and those without such diseases were compared after adjustment for age, race, zip code of residence, other sexually transmitted diseases, and number of sexual partners.
Results: A positive relationship was observed between uncircumcised status and both syphilis and gonorrhea. A negative relationship was found between warts and lack of circumcision. No apparent relationship was noted between uncircumcised status and genital herpes, chlamydial infection, or nongonococcal urethritis.
Conclusions: Uncircumcised men were more likely than circumcised men to have syphilis and gonorrhea and were less likely to have visible warts.