Originally Posted by Minuteman
(Cross posted at restoringforeskin.org)
I just received another slightly hysterical mailing-list email from IA
Does IA really need to be taking a jaunt to Rome to "put the international medical community on notice" when it is U.S. agencies such as CDC, NIH and DoS (via PEPFAR) pushing the global circumcision agenda?
Well, I am one of the people they're sending to this conference. I'm putting a chunk of my own money into going, and whatever donations IA receives will help offset the very great cost. Just affording to be part of this is a challenge for me.
If you read any of my reports here from last summer's Vienna AIDS conference, you know what a difference it made to be there. The CDC has a very large presence at these conferences and they have specific open house hours during which you can question them / challenge them on any issue, and we absolutely did. Indeed, the US agencies dominate at these gatherings, regardless of the country they're held in. Last summer we learned a tremendous amount about the CDC's plans, and it is only because IA had representatives at all of their presentations that the world even knew about their 33% US circumcision figure and its intended use in scaring the public into thinking there was a looming public health crisis because America was circumcising a lot less -- it was not made public outside that room, except for the photos we took of their powerpoint slides. Were it not for us being there and the evidence we gathered, the New York Times would never have run the story about it.
Now do you really question the benefit of IA attending these conferences?
The year before in South Africa we were able to communicate face-to-face with representatives of the South African Medical Association, which has since come out with a statement strongly discouraging the circumcision of infants. I also went up to the mic in a room of about 300 people and gave WHO and UNAIDS an earful about their misguided and unethical circumcision programs.
Next year the IAS conference will be held in Washington, DC and IA plans to have a strong presence at that, too.
I hope people do give generously. I'm wiping out my savings by going to do battle at these things.