HIV & MALE CIRCUMCISION FACT SHEET
Are you considering male circumcision to reduce your risk of HIV infection? Find out more about the procedure and the benefits.
What is male circumcision?
Male circumcision is a one-off medical procedure. It removes a fold of skin that covers the head of the penis – the foreskin. Circumcision can be carried out at any age. Circumcision may be performed for medical or religious reasons.
This fact sheet discusses voluntary medical circumcision done in a medical environment by a medical professional.
Male circumcision and HIV prevention
The inner foreskin contains cells that HIV targets to enter the body.
Small tears or genital ulcers on the foreskin can increase HIV risk.
Circumcision only protects men (not women) from acquiring HIV, reducing their risk by 60%.
It does not reduce risk of sexual transmission of HIV onwards to a female or male partner.2
Key facts about male circumcision
Most circumcised men do not experience any effect on…
sexual desire or satisfaction
pain during sex
size of their penis.3
Important to know before circumcision
Do not masturbate or have sex until 6 weeks after circumcision
Having unprotected sex before healing increases your risk of infection
Circumcised men who are living with HIV can still transmit HIV
Circumcision does not give 100% protection – still use condoms
Follow the aftercare advice given by your healthcare provider
Test regularly for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).4
The step-by-step process
HIV & STI test offered
Medical procedure in medical setting
Follow up appointments
Refer a friend!
Know your rights You have the right to:
be circumcised by a medical professional
be circumcised at any age.