Research revealed this week asserting circumcision protects men against HIV has been dismissed by HIV researcher Andrew Grulich (pictured) and ACON president Adrian Lovney. Melbourne University professor Roger Short told ABC Radio this week circumcision conferred considerable protection on men against becoming infected with the AIDS virus due to the presence of receptor cells inside the foreskin. Grulich, former president of the Australian Society of HIV Medicine, told the Star the research was being taken out of context. There are studies in Africa where there is inadequate access to hygiene where the presence of a foreskin may increase the risk of HIV -¦ Grulich said. There is, however, no research in developed countries that being circumcised protects you from HIV. For example, one of the countries with the highest rates of circumcision in the world, the USA, has one of the highest rates of heterosexual transmission of HIV in the world. Now if the foreskin was the only site of entry for HIV into the penis, that would not be the case, Grulich said. Lovney agreed. I think it is dangerous to take findings in one setting and to apply them to another, he said. Our view is that, circumcised or not, using a condom is still the safest way to protect yourself against HIV transmission in Australia.

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