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Male baby circumcision outweighs the risks

Aug. 28, 2012 at 12:24 AM
ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill., Aug. 28 (UPI) -- The health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks, but it is a decision that parents will have to make, U.S. researchers say.

An updated policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics said a systematic review of the scientific literature showed circumcision lowered the risks of acquiring HIV, genital herpes, human papilloma virus and syphilis; reduced the risk of cervical cancer in sexual partners and lowered the risk of urinary tract infections in the first year of life.

However, the revised policy said the health benefits were not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all newborn boys, but health benefits were great enough that infant male circumcision should be covered by insurance.

"Ultimately, this is a decision that parents will have to make," Dr. Susan Blank, chairwoman of the task force that authored the AAP policy statement and technical report, said in a statement. "Parents are entitled to medically accurate and non-biased information about circumcision, and they should weigh this medical information in the context of their own religious, ethical and cultural beliefs."

The policy statement was published online ahead of the September print edition of the journal Pediatrics.

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