Follow the link for a more detailed summary of the recent study that found no protective effect from circumcision in gay men.
One confounding statement the study authors make, paraphrased here:
Although two previous US studies examining the relationship between circumcision and HIV status suggested that circumcision conferred a protective effect from HIV infection these previous studies had primarily enrolled white MSM. The investigators think this study came to different conclusions “because HIV infection is disproportionately higher among black and Latino MSM than among white MSM in the United States” and it is possible that “the greater background prevalence of HIV infection in black and Latino MSM communities diminishes any
protective effect afforded by circumcision.”
If a “greater background prevalence of HIV infection” diminishes the protective effect, how did the African studies conducted in very high prevalence areas manage to show a protective effect? Do the researchers conclude that circumcision is protective only in lower prevalence areas? Isn’t this contradictory? It sounds like they’re trying to say that circumcision is good in the US context only before or while prevalence is low. I can’t think of a more perfect example of trying to have one’s cake and eating it, too.