Cancer of the cervix is associated with having sexual intercourse at an early age and with having multiple male sex partners. The earlier the age of the female when she first has sexual intercourse, and the greater the number of male partners she has, the higher is her risk of getting cancer of the cervix. Sexual intercourse with uncircumcised male partners may also contribute to a woman's risk of developing cervical cancer.
Cancer of the penis is a very rare disease in the United States. There is almost universal agreement that one primary risk factor is responsible for this cancer—poor hygiene, especially in the uncircumcised male. Secretion and different organisms retained under the foreskin produce irritation and infection, which are thought to predispose to cancer cellular changes.
There is an epidemic outbreak of Kaposi's sarcoma in sexually active male homosexuals. Kaposi's sarcoma is a cancer of the skin, mucous membranes, and lymph nodes. Those affected have an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). In addition to Kaposi's sarcoma, male homosexuality is a risk factor for two other cancers: cancer of the anus and cancer of the tongue.
Sexually active male homosexuals in good health can have a normal or abnormal immune system. Many with an abnormal immune system appear quite healthy. Some with a malfunctioning immune system have had Kaposi's sarcoma and/or fatal or life-threatening infections caused by Pneumocystis carinii.
The immune impairment from AIDS seen in sexually active male homosexuals, intravenous drug users, prostitutes, and heterosexuals is now clearly related to infection by the HIV virus. Other risk factors leading to human susceptibility to HIV include amyl nitrite, a drug used as a sexual stimulant. Amyl nitrite produces a profound impairment of the immune system, especially the T lymphocytes.52 Also, immunological abnormalities are seen more often in homosexuals who have many sexual partners than in those who have only one partner.