World Journal of Urology

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 3–13

Male circumcision and HIV infection risk

Topic Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00345-011-0696-x

Cite this article as:
Krieger, J.N. World J Urol (2012) 30: 3. doi:10.1007/s00345-011-0696-x



Male circumcision is being promoted to reduce human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV) infection rates. This review evaluates the scientific evidence suggesting that male circumcision reduces HIV infection risk in high-risk heterosexual populations.


We followed the updated International Consultation on Urological Diseases evidence-based medicine recommendations to critically review the scientific evidence on male circumcision and HIV infection risk.


Level 1 evidence supports the concept that male circumcision substantially reduces the risk of HIV infection. Three major lines of evidence support this conclusion: biological data suggesting that this concept is plausible, data from observational studies supported by high-quality meta-analyses, and three randomized clinical trials supported by high-quality meta-analyses.


The evidence from these biological studies, observational studies, randomized controlled clinical trials, meta-analyses, and cost-effectiveness studies is conclusive. The challenges to implementation of male circumcision as a public health measure in high-risk populations must now be faced.


Male circumcision HIV infection Risk Complications 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Urology, School of MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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