The effects of male circumcision on female partners’ genital tract symptoms and vaginal infections in a randomized trial in Rakai, Uganda
Grey, Ronald H.
Chen, Michael Z.
Sewankambo, Nelson K.
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OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to assess effects of male circumcision on female genital symptoms and vaginal infections. STUDY DESIGN: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-negative men enrolled in a trial were randomized to immediate or delayed circumcision (control arm). Genital symptoms, bacterial vaginosis (BV), and trichomonas were assessed in HIV-negative wives of married participants. Adjusted prevalence risk ratios (adjPRR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were assessed by multivariable log-binomial regression, intent-to-treat analyses. RESULTS: A total of 783 wives of control and 825 wives of intervention arm men were comparable at enrollment. BV at enrollment was higher in control (38.3%) than intervention arm spouses (30.5%, P = .001). At 1 year follow-up, intervention arm wives reported lower rates of genital ulceration (adjPRR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.63-0.97), but there were no differences in vaginal discharge or dysuria. The risk of trichomonas was reduced in intervention arm wives (adjPRR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.05- 0.98), as were the risks of any BV (adjPRR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.38-0.94) and severe BV (prevalence risk ratios, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.24-0.64). CONCLUSION: Male circumcision reduces the risk of ulceration, trichomonas, and BV in female partners.