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Circumspect Thoughts About Adult Circumcision

2 Responses to "Circumspect Thoughts About Adult Circumcision"
  1. James Loewen says:

    Circumcision to "prevent AIDS" is irrational. African men are being circumcised and given a false sense of security. Maria Warwer's study indicated that circumcising men to "prevent AIDS" actually increases women's risk of getting infected.

    Behind the campaign to circumcise African men to "prevent AIDS" are several men who are first and foremost intent on promoting circumcision, AIDS was a convenient disease to apply their favourite sexual mutilation to. The 140+ year history of medical circumcision is one of attempting to find medical justification for foreskin amputations.

    Many countries around the world (including 6 in Africa, Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, and Swaziland) have higher rates of HIV infection among circumcised men. The USA with a large percentage of circumcised men has a high rate of HIV infection. Many countries around the world that don't circumcise have very low rates of HIV infection.

    This current push to circumcise Africa to "prevent AIDS" is a dangerous distraction from safer sex campaigns. Many men who were cut as infants need to justify this and promoting circumcision as a cure all is one of the ways of keeping from looking at what circumcision actually is.

    History will reveal this African circumcision campaign to be a medical fraud, just as all attempts to find medical justification for circumcision have been.

  2. Hugh7 says:

    You are more right than you know about the hype of "50-60%" reduction. That is a relative risk reduction, the ratio of the difference between two small figures. (From 3.37% to1.58% in Kenya, from 1.78% to 0.89% in Uganda). The absolute figures are that less than two years after circumcising 5,400 men in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda, 64 circumcised men contracted HIV and 137 non-circumcised men. The difference, 73 men, is the TOTAL basis of the claim that "circumcision could protect millions".

    327 circumcised men dropped out of the studies, their HIV status unknown, easily enough to conceal enough extra HIV+ men to make it statistically insignificant.

    And your question about transmission to women is a good one. A study by Maria Wawer et al in Uganda found 18% of the woman partners of circumcised HIV+ men became HIV+, compared with only 12% of the partners of non-circumcised HIV+ men. The study was stopped "for futility" before the figures could reach statistical significance. (There would have been no ethical objection to allowing the study to run, because they had established that circumcising the control group would not protect the women.)

    So encouraging men to have themselves circumcised may actually increase the risk of passing HIV on to their partners.

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