Men with larger foreskins are more likely to contract HIV, according to a study by Johns Hopkins University researchers published in the journal AIDS, reports Reuters.

Researchers investigated 965 men from Uganda, without HIV at the start of the study. Results showed that those with larger foreskins were more vulnerable to infection.

“Mean foreskin surface area was significantly higher among men who acquired HIV,” wrote study author Godfrey Kigozi, MD, and his colleagues.

Previous studies showed that foreskin removal through circumcision could reduce (not completely prevent) men’s chances of contracting the virus. But the procedure doesn’t fully protect the female partners of circumcised men (although their risk is reduced).

Researchers believe that immune cells called dendritic cells in foreskin provide an easy entry for HIV into the body. The math is simple: Less foreskin means fewer dendritic cells, which equals less HIV access into the body.

Read RH’s “Manning Up” for a discussion about black men’s role in combating HIV/AIDS in our communities here.