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An uncircumcised penis is one in which the foreskin is still intact rather than having been surgically removed. The foreskin is a retractable layer of skin that covers and protects the penis when not erect. When the penis is erect the skin moves down the shaft to reveal the head of the penis. Circumcision rates vary widely across the globe, but according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 79 percent of American men are circumcised.
Although the foreskin is believed to both protect the penis and increase sexual enjoyment, not being circumcised does carry a slightly increased health risk to men. Uncircumcised men carry a greater risk of developing a urinary tract infection and cancer of the penis. There is also evidence that being circumcised can reduce the risk of catching HIV and other STDs, although this does not mean that a circumcised man will not develop HIV. In recent years, circumcision has experienced a bit of a backlash, and it is believed that men who are uncircumcised do benefit from greater sensitivity, as the nerve endings of the penis have been protected by the foreskin rather than being dulled by constant exposure.