May 022013


CC BY-NC 2.0 - flickr - Jonathan Gill Summary of some of the interesting news bits from April 2013.

  • Researchers in Sweden find that early vaccinations against HPV are more effective than late vaccinations (93% effective before 14 years, 76% after 14 years and before 20 years). Abstract. Open Source Full Text.
  • Despite low risk of side effects and mild side effects, fewer U.S. parents were less likely to vaccinate against HPV in 2010 than in 2008 (43.9% unwilling to vaccinate in 2010 vs 39.8% unwilling in 2008). AbstractOpen Source Full Text.
  • Anal cancer rates have dramatically increased since 1973. Abstract.
  • Roughly 3/4ths of men who show “hypersexual” behavior report being distressed by it or having functional problems. Slightly more than half have relationship problems. Abstract.
  • Attitudes about female circumcisions have been assessed via Facebook in the “Middle East”. Female circumcision is done by doctors about half of the time, and was more common in rural areas than urban areas. Nearly half of the sample indicated that female circumcision was “necessary” or “very necessary.” Abstract.
  • Persistant genital arousal disorder may be caused by a mass, according to a recent case study.
  • In women with menstrual cycles, estrogen may have a delayed positive effect on libido. Progesterone may have a negative effect on libido. News article.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice has issued new guidelines for medical examinations after a rape. These guidelines now emphasize the survivor’s emotional and physical needs over any forensic needs. News articleGuidelines.
  • Recent cases of meningitis in gay men raised concerns that gay men may be at risk. After analysis the cases appear not to have been related. Gay men who have been sexually active in or around New York City since September 1st are still advised to get a meningitis vaccine to be on the safe side. News article.

Why the flower picture? It’s a tongue-in-cheek reference to the “flower of the month.” Besides, it’s pretty!

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments.

Hope you all had a lovely month!

Jan 102011

A new study has found that circumcised men transmit HPV to women less frequently than uncircumcised men in a 2-year period (SourceStudy). This was a statistically significant difference (it probably wasn’t caused by chance). Also, when circumcised, it lessens the risk of phimosis. Individuals who aren’t circumcised might experience pain in their foreskin; this might be a sign that he has phimosis. Check with a physician to discuss phimosis and phimosis cure to help you. The authors go on to suggest that circumcision should thus be used to prevent the spread of HPV, with a warning that it’s only a partial protection (a 23% difference between the groups). The study was published in The Lancet

After reviewing the study, although it mostly seems sound, I have one objection: couldn’t the statistical difference come from a change in sexual behavior and not the procedure? A circumcision requires healing time and may affect sexual response, which may lead to a change in sexual habits. The authors tracked number of sexual partners, but not the activities themselves. It strikes me that the activities should have been tracked, even by a self-reported estimate.

I also question the conclusion: wouldn’t it be better to vaccinate the population, instead of risking infection and sexual side effects? However, I am biased about this subject.

Research Citation:

Effect of circumcision of HIV-negative men on transmission of human papillomavirus to HIV-negative women: a randomised trial in Rakai, Uganda (Link)
Prof Maria J Wawer MD,Dr Aaron AR Tobian MD,Godfrey Kigozi MBChB,Xiangrong Kong PhD,Patti E Gravitt PhD,David Serwadda MMed,Fred Nalugoda MHS,Frederick Makumbi PhD,Victor Ssempiija ScM,Nelson Sewankambo MMed,Stephen Watya MMed,Kevin P Eaton BS,Amy E. Oliver BA,Michael Z Chen MSc,Steven J Reynolds MD,Prof Thomas C Quinn MD,Prof Ronald H Gray MD
The Lancet – 7 January 2011
DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61967-8