Curbing circumcision boosts STD's, according to study

Could cost the U.S. billions

HEATHDAY - A dramatic decline in the number of circumcisions of boys born in the United States may lead to a surge in the rate of sexually transmitted diseases.  That's according to a new study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Circumcisions in the United States have plummeted from 79 percent in the 1970's and 1980's to about 55 percent in 2010.  One reason for the decline is that more states refuse to cover the procedure under their Medicaid programs.  Also - some people believe clipping an infant's foreskin is a form of mutilation.

The author of the study says evidence supporting the medical benefits of male circumcision continues to mount. Included are declines in HIV, genital herpes and penile and cervical cancers, which are caused by sexually transmitted HPV.  The cost of those infections could top $4.4 billion over the course of a decade, according to the study.

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