Originally Posted by Papai
It really baffles me that European researchers can say this IN Europe, where the majority of the male population is intact, and have no one balk at such blatantly inflammatory presentations. Sad.
It's interesting... we had a lot of Europeans stop by and chat with us in Vienna, and they were baffled by our opposition to mass circumcision as an HIV containment strategy. By and large, their attitude was, "So what? Circumcision is no big deal. From what I've heard, it doesn't really change anything (function, sensation, etc.)."
So, we said, "Oh, so you wouldn't mind being circumcised, or having someone circumcise your children?" That's when they said, "Over my dead body!!"
When we told them that Africa is just the opening salvo in a movement to "normalize" circumcision further and spread the practice to every continent, they just chuckled and said, "Don't be ridiculous, it would never happen here. Let them cut all of Africa for all we care; Europeans are too sensible to allow anything like that to reach us."
Hmmm. That response sounded to me a little too much like the famous quote of Martin Niemöller that begins, ""They came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist." You know the rest.
Originally Posted by billikengirl
Exactly! How do these circumcisers explain the rates of HIV infection and other STDs in the U.S. where the majority of adult males are circumcised?
As JenP said, the pro-circ crowd says, "Whew, thank goodness most of our boys were already circumcised or our HIV profile would be like Africa's!"
Utter nonsense. The appropriate comparison for the US would be Canada, or Western Europe. Point of fact, for the past 20 years Western Europe has had heterosexual HIV transmission rates ranging from US parity (Spain & Portugal, right next to Africa) to approximately 1/8 that of the US (Scandinavia). On average, it's about 1/4 the US rate, with similar profiles for condom use and injected drug use. Maybe it's intact sex organs that's actually protecting
Western Europe, which is not an outrageous idea. It has been known
for several years now that moist mucosal tissue is a super-strong barrier to bacterial and viral infection -- unlike the dried glans and everted mucosa of the circumcised penis -- and circumcised men are more prone to microtearing of their own penile tissue and the vaginal lining of their partners. This nonsense from the African researchers about the benefits of a keratinized glans and the danger from Langerhans cells in the foreskin is mumbo-jumbo... it has absolutely no support in the published medical literature. It's a hole in their theory that you can drive a Range Rover through.
One UCSF researcher had the unmitigated gall to tell me that to his way of thinking, the US could have been 25% more protected from HIV with a 100% male circ rate, and Europe could have had no HIV at all if they adopted circumcision. I told him he had it completely backward... probably the US could have avoided more than half of our cases of HIV if we didn't circumcise at all. Per the Laumann study, sex overall would have been less risky and condom use would have been higher, since circumcised men complain more about feeling almost nothing with a condom on.
I want to scream when I see what is happening in East/South Africa. With 1 to 2 billion dollars now earmarked for circumcision, those governments could ensure the sterility of needles and scalpels, provide a wide variety of condoms for men to try, educate much more extensively, and make antiretrovirals widely available. It would virtually halt HIV in 5 years. But then, no one is making career headlines with such boring solutions.