According to the research published in PLoS Medicine, adult circumcision is safe in HIV-infected men without advanced HIV disease.
After analyzing the results of two clinical trials of circumcision, Johns Hopkins University and colleagues found approximately a 3% rate of moderate or severe surgical complications – primarily infections — in both HIV-positive and HIV-negative men, when circumcision was performed under optimal conditions [HIV virus life cycle].
Healing was slower in the HIV-infected men, however, and men who resumed sexual intercourse before complete wound healing were at higher risk of complications.
A separately reported analysis from one of these trials found that women partners are more likely to become HIV infected by HIV-positive men who resume sex prior to complete wound healing.
Therefore, for protection of both men and their women partners, refraining from intercourse after circumcision is essential until the wound has completely healed.
Three clinical trials have already shown that circumcision reduces the risk of becoming HIV infected by about 60% in HIV-negative African men, with infrequent side effects.
However, the side effects in HIV-positive men have not been previously reported. Because this study found no increased risk of surgical complications in HIV-positive men who undergo circumcision, it should not be necessary to screen men who have no symptoms of HIV in future circumcision programs.