“San Francisco’s ballot initiative would prohibit circumcision on all males under the age of 18. It would allow no religious exemptions, and it apparently gives no regard to the numerous studies demonstrating that male circumcision can substantially reduce—by more than 50%—the transmission of the HIV virus during sex.”
Diane Cole: Circumcision Saved My Life - WSJ.com
Touching story in favor of circumcision. I also think circumcisions look more normal…maybe it’s just me!
New Study in Kenya finds no association between male circumcision and lowered HIV rates: ‘Using a population-based survey we examined the behaviors, beliefs, and HIV/HSV-2 serostatus of men and women in the traditionally non-circumcising community of Kisumu, Kenya prior to establishment of voluntary medical male circumcision services. A total of 749 men and 906 women participated. Circumcision status was not associated with HIV/HSV-2 infection nor increased high risk sexual behaviors. In males, preference for being or becoming circumcised was associated with inconsistent condom use and increased lifetime number of sexual partners. Preference for circumcision was increased with understanding that circumcised men are less likely to become infected with HIV.’
Doctors Reject Circumcision As HIV Prevention
Quoted straight from this file from USAID, “There appears no clear pattern of association between male circumcision and HIV prevalence—in 8 of 18 countries with data, HIV prevalence is lower among circumcised men, while in the remaining 10 countries it is higher.”
“August 17, 2006 — HIV prevalence is not necessarily lower in populations that have higher male circumcision rates, according to findings from a study of African countries presented here at the 16th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2006). The study, which examined the association between male circumcision and HIV infection in 8 Sub-Saharan African countries, contradicts the findings of previous research and the opinion of several prominent personalities active in the fight against AIDS, such as former US President Bill Clinton.”
How the circumcision solution in Africa will increase HIV infections
Circumcision is a dangerous distraction in the fight against AIDS. There are six African countries where men are more likely to be HIV positive if they’ve been circumcised: Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, and Swaziland. Eg in Malawi, the HIV rate is 13.2% among circumcised men, but only 9.5% among intact men. In Rwanda, the HIV rate is 3.5% among circumcised men, but only 2.1% among intact men. If circumcision really worked against AIDS, this just wouldn’t happen. We now have people calling circumcision a “vaccine” or “invisible condom”, and viewing circumcision as an alternative to condoms. The South African National Communication Survey on HIV/AIDS, 2009 found that 15% of adults across age groups “believe that circumcised men do not need to use condoms”.
The one randomized controlled trial into male-to-female transmission showed a 54% higher rate in the group where the men had been circumcised.
ABC (Abstinence, Being faithful, and especially Condoms) is the way forward. Promoting genital surgery will cost African lives, not save them. Here are some references:
Cameroon http://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/FR163/16chapitre16.pdf table 16.9, p17 (4.1% v 1.1%)
Ghana http://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/FR152/13Chapter13.pdf table 13.9 (1.6% v 1.4%)
Lesotho http://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/FR171/12Chapter12.pdf table 12.9 (22.8% v 15.2%)
Malawi http://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/FR175/FR-175-MW04.pdf table 12.6, p257 (13.2% v 9.5%)
Rwanda http://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/FR183/15Chapter15.pdf , table 15.11 (3.5% v 2.1%)
Swaziland http://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/FR202/FR202.pdf table 14.10 (21.8% v 19.5%)
See also http://www.iasociety.org/Default.aspx?pageId=11&abstractId=2197431
“Conclusions: We find a protective effect of circumcision in only one of the eight countries for which there are nationally-representative HIV seroprevalence data. The results are important in considering the development of circumcision-focused interventions within AIDS prevention programs.”
“Results: … No consistent relationship between male circumcision and HIV risk was observed in most countries.”
“Male Circumcision – A Dangerous Mistake in the HIV Battle” http://www.intactamerica.org/dangerousmistake
The latest “studies” are based on hypotheses that have been long since debunked. As of yet, there hasn’t yet been a single explanation as to how exactly removing the foreskin “reduces the risk” of HIV infection, only assertion that it just “does.”
Myth#1: “The Langerhans cells facilitate HIV infection. Circumcision ‘reduces the risk of HIV’ by removing the Langerhans cells in the foreskin.”
Reality: Langerhans cells are found all over the body; their removal is virtually impossible.
“Langerin is a natural barrier to HIV-1 transmission by Langerhans cells”
Myth#2: “Circumcision ‘reduces the risk of HIV’ because it’s harder for the virus to get through the keratinized glans.”
“CONCLUSION: We found no difference between the keratinization of the inner and outer aspects of the adult male foreskin. Keratin layers alone are unlikely to explain why uncircumcised men are at higher risk for HIV infection.”
STUDY: HIV-1 Interactions and Infection in Adult Male Foreskin Explant Cultures - “No difference can be clearly visualized between the inner and outer foreskin.”
According to Malaysian AIDS Council vice-president Datuk Zaman Khan, more than 70% of the 87,710 HIV/AIDS sufferers in the country are Muslims (where all men are circumcised). In Malaysia, most, if not all Muslim men are circumcised, whereas circumcision is uncommon in the non-Muslim community. This means that HIV is spreading in the community where most men are circumcised at an even faster rate, than in the community where most men are intact
Why do the WHO and CDC focus so much on three unfinished RCT’s of female-to-male transmission, but ignore male-to-female-transmission?
This 1993 study found that “partner circumcision” was “strongly associated with HIV-1 infection [in women] even when simultaneously controlling for other covariates.”
The Wawer study showed a 54% higher rate of male-to-female transmission in the group where the men had been circumcised. The figures were too small to show statistical significance, but there will be no larger scale study to find out if circumcising men increases the risk to women. Somehow that’s considered unethical, yet it’s considered ethical to promote male circumcision whilst not knowing if the risk to women is increased (by 54%?, 25%?, 80%? - who knows?)
”After years of circumcising young men, the HIV infection rate in Swaziland has gone up, not down as predicted. This data is from a 2007 Swaziland health department report, which the government has had for three years, but continues to circumcise men anyway.”