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NYT: Officials Weigh Circumcision to Fight H.I.V. Risk

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Cruzan Donating Member (806 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:24 PM
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NYT: Officials Weigh Circumcision to Fight H.I.V. Risk
Public health officials are considering promoting routine circumcision for all baby boys born in the United States to reduce the spread of H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS.

The topic is a delicate one that has already generated controversy, even though a formal draft of the proposed recommendations, due out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by the end of the year, has yet to be released.

Experts are also considering whether the surgery should be offered to adult heterosexual men whose sexual practices put them at high risk of infection. But they acknowledge that a circumcision drive in the United States would be unlikely to have a drastic impact: the procedure does not seem to protect those at greatest risk here, men who have sex with men.

Recently, studies showed that in African countries hit hard by AIDS, men who were circumcised reduced their infection risk by half. But the clinical trials in Africa focused on heterosexual men who are at risk of getting H.I.V. from infected female partners.

[...]

Circumcision is believed to protect men from infection with H.I.V. because the mucosal tissue of the foreskin is more susceptible to H.I.V. and can be an entry portal for the virus. Observational studies have found that uncircumcised men have higher rates of other sexually transmitted diseases like herpes and syphilis, and a recent study in Baltimore found that heterosexual men were less likely to have become infected with H.I.V. from infected partners if they were circumcised.

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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:39 PM
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1. My first question would be about the demographics of circumcision in Kenya.
Are those who are circumcised more likely to be educated? More likely to be of a culture which supports sexual restraint and monogamy? Less likely to frequent prostitutes?

In other documentaries, when you see those Congolese soldiers going after those Congolese prostitutes and sex slaves, it's little wonder that any of them isn't a walking petri dish. I doubt any of those men are circumcised, so it might skew the results if things like that aren't taken into account. One reasonably trusts that WHO and similar groups think of such things, but when it isn't mentioned in the article, it's hard to give it much credence.
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Why Kenya alone?
Study also looked at South Africa and Uganda. And this isn't the first study to have the same findings.
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. Boy, sure am glad I'm not a GD mod anymore
:popcorn:
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:44 PM
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4. Ok, I'll bite. How much does a circumcision weigh??
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zbdent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I don't know, but a wallet made out of former foreskins turns into a three-piece
luggage set with a little rubbing ...
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