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Aids & STD research studies

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Like most of you, cir was against my every instinct but my husband, a scientist, pulled out a scientific magazine "Science News" where a research study was done in Africa and the conclusion was that cir men had a 50% lower risk of contracting aids and other std's. For this reason and because of the pressure from my DH, I allowed it to occur. I wasn't able to see the procedure because as soon as I signed the papers, the doctor took the baby and ran. By the time I hobbled (c-section) down to see my baby, he was sucking on a paci quietly in a bassinet in the nursery. Despite the research and since I now know more about it, I deeply regret the whole event and since it takes my signature to have it done, I will refuse if we have any more boys. The research studies are published in Science News and can be found at www.sciencenews.org using search word "circumcision". Unfortunately you can't view the articles unless you are a subscriber.
post #2 of 11
Take some time to peek around this forum and you will find many debunks of the HIV thing...also alternative theories and studies on how it seems american and australian men get no benefit from circumcision. Many found here:

http://www.circumstitions.com/HIV.html#contrary


http://www.cirp.org/library/disease/HIV/


But also we have a brand spanking new study out in the journal of pediatrics showing no STD benefit for circumcised men:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...?dopt=Abstract

Quote:
Overall, up to age 32 years, the incidence rates for all STIs were not statistically significantly different-23.4 and 24.4 per 1000 person-years for the uncircumcised and circumcised men, respectively. This was not affected by adjusting for any of the socioeconomic or sexual behavior characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: These findings are consistent with recent population-based cross-sectional studies in developed countries, which found that early childhood circumcision does not markedly reduce the risk of the common STIs in the general population in such countries.
post #3 of 11
Worth while mentioning most recent scientists discovery that Langerhans cells that are present in the foreskin are behave as ‘natural barrier’ to HIV.
Bellow are the links.


http://www.womenshealth.gov/news/english/602421.htm
http://body.aol.com/news/articles/_a...28234109990019
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...030500357.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=17334373

Another study shows no HIV protection from circumcision

http://www.jaids.org/pt/re/jaids/abs...195628!8091!-1

Outside of Israel, the U.S. is the 2nd highest circumcising country in the world and after Africa, has the 2nd highest infection rate. Plus the fact that more than 80% of the world's men are "uncircumcised" and countries in Europe have an extremely low HIV+ rate.
post #4 of 11

STDs and circ

As reported at circumstitions ( http://www.circumstitions.com/News28.html#dickson ), a study appearing in the March 2008 issue of the Journal of Paediatrics (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...?dopt=Abstract ) found that overall, up to age 32 years, the incidence rates for all STIs were not statistically significantly different - 23.4 and 24.4 per 1000 person-years for the uncircumcised and circumcised men, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings are consistent with recent population-based cross-sectional studies in developed countries [such as the Australian Study (International Journal of STD & AIDS August 1, 2006; 17(8): 547-54.) (http://highwire.stanford.edu/cgi/medline/pmid;16925903 ) of about 10,000 men and the British Study (STI 2003 Volume 79: Pages 499-500, December 2003) (http://www.cirp.org/library/general/dave1/ ) of approximately 2,000 men and unlike the widely publicized Fergusson study] (http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...act/118/5/1971 ) which found that early childhood circumcision does not markedly reduce the risk of the common STIs in the general population in such countries.

yulia.
post #5 of 11
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm pretty new to this forum and I have a lot to learn. Thank you for sharing counter arguments/research with me. I'm hoping this will help to enlighten both myself and my husband. I truly appreciate all of your feedback.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JAMommy View Post
Like most of you, cir was against my every instinct but my husband, a scientist, pulled out a scientific magazine "Science News" where a research study was done in Africa and the conclusion was that cir men had a 50% lower risk of contracting aids and other std's. For this reason and because of the pressure from my DH, I allowed it to occur. I wasn't able to see the procedure because as soon as I signed the papers, the doctor took the baby and ran. By the time I hobbled (c-section) down to see my baby, he was sucking on a paci quietly in a bassinet in the nursery. Despite the research and since I now know more about it, I deeply regret the whole event and since it takes my signature to have it done, I will refuse if we have any more boys. The research studies are published in Science News and can be found at www.sciencenews.org using search word "circumcision". Unfortunately you can't view the articles unless you are a subscriber.
JaMommy I am so sorry to hear about what happened. Everyone has already provided a lot of great information but I thought I would add some additional perspective that your husband can consider.

One thing you always need to remember is that circumcision is a pernicious practice and by just looking at the history of the practice over the last 100 years or so you'll see that it has very much been a whack-a-mole kind of thing. Someone proclaims a benefit only to be disproved sometime later. Currently we are talking about HIV but their are several problems even if you were to take those results at face value. Primarily there is the question of ethics. You might want to pass along this very good ethical discussion by Dr. Margaret Somerville in which she addressed the supposed HIV benefit:

Quote:
The most recent claim of a medical benefit from circumcision is a reduction in the risk of contracting HIV infection or other sexually transmitted diseases. The research on which this claim is based is being challenged, but even if it is correct, it would not justify circumcising infant boys. Even assuming that circumcision gave men additional protection from becoming infected with HIV, baby boys do not immediately need such protection and can choose for themselves, at a later stage, if they want it. To carry out circumcision for such a future health protection reason (assuming for the moment that circumcision is protective) would be analogous to testing a baby girl for the gene for breast cancer and, if it is present, trying to remove all her immature breast tissue in order to eliminate the risk of her developing breast cancer as an adult woman.
You might also be interested in the The Royal Australasian College of Physicians discussion of a potential HIV benefit in section 5.2:
Quote:
However, how much circumcision could contribute to ameliorate the current epidemic of HIV is uncertain. Whatever the future direction of this debate it can not be seen as an argument in favour of universal neonatal circumcision in countries with a low prevalence of HIV.
Also from down under the Australian Federation of AIDS Organization's had this to say in their July 2007 statement.

These people have said these things for several reasons.
  1. First, the potential benefit, if any, is vanishingly small. Particularly in a country with low prevalence. The 50% your husband pointed to was a relative risk reduction. The absolute reduction in Africa was actually 1.5% over 20 months or perhaps about 0.7% per year. This would be much smaller in an industrialized countries.
  2. Second, clearly a decision to circumcise for HIV protection can be differed until the child is old enough to make an informed choice. The fact of the matter is that circumcised or not a man's responsibilities in terms of sex doesn't change. He still must wear a condom when having sex with a partner whose HIV status is positive or unknown. Anything less would be irresponsible. Unfortunately, this message is now getting lost in Africa, read all about it.
  3. Third, there are contrary studies. One study which was recently published in September 2007 reviewed all electronic records of males attending the San Francisco municipal STD clinic between 1996 and 2005 which amounted to some 58,598 patients. Although the study authors don't bother to run the numbers, two of the respondents did; there is enough information there for you to cross check it if you are so inclined. In this case, 58,000 men in San Francisco, over 10 years there was no significant statistical difference found between circumcised or intact men with regard to HIV or Syphilis for any sexual orientation. And perhaps more importantly is the Langerhans study Yulia_R posted:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Yulia_R View Post
    Worth while mentioning most recent scientists discovery that Langerhans cells that are present in the foreskin are behave as ‘natural barrier’ to HIV.
    Bellow are the links.
    Available here too. The most important part from that study is highlighted Notably, LCs also inhibited T-cell infection by viral clearance through Langerin. Thus Langerin is a natural barrier to HIV-1 infection, and strategies to combat infection must enhance, preserve or, at the very least, not interfere with Langerin expression and function. What does that say about circumcision?
  4. Finally, some might assert that if you delay it a man may not choose it. That in and of itself demonstrates the enormous ethical problem. Even today most intact men wouldn't opt for a circumcision, unless they were duped into it (or there was a clear and compelling medical reason). Consider that a child today would have the benefit of decades of additional research perhaps a way of enhancing Langerin expression is developed? If most of those cells are contained in the foreskin how will that help a circumcised boy? Perhaps there would even be a vaccine? Or perhaps when your adult son found out that even if he is circumcised he needs to still alway wear a condom he says, "Not a chance."

So there is so much more to this than a few studies in a third world country. It's hard to get a rational perspective on these thing the way the media, particularly in the US, has up sold this result. You never hear about results that show circumcision is not protective, again check out Yulia_R's post on recent STD studies in first world countries.

As a parting thought you might want to ask your husband why circumcision in the US has heretofore not been helpful in our HIV situation it is true that:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yulia_R View Post
Outside of Israel, the U.S. is the 2nd highest circumcising country in the world and after Africa, has the 2nd highest infection rate. Plus the fact that more than 80% of the world's men are "uncircumcised" and countries in Europe have an extremely low HIV+ rate.
The rate of HIV infection in countries such as those in Europe, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia (many more but those are example) is between 1/3rd and 1/6th that of the US and circumcision in those countries is frowned upon and essentially unheard of outside religious circles.

You might also want to ask him if a study came out of Africa which showed that circumcising your daughter would protect her from HIV would he do it? Don't think it has happened? Think again.

I know this is a lot of information to take in all at once but just go through it bit by bit. It will help you build knowledge to rationally discuss these issues with both your husband and anyone else who comes along. Stick around participate and ask questions. Hope this is helpful.
post #8 of 11
I'm glad you came here. It can be painful learning that circumcision really isn't necessary, and actually is quite harmful. But your eyes are open, and you'll make different decisions next time, and may be able to educate others along with way, having learned what you've learned.

I know you've had a lot of info presented to you in this thread but I'd like to add two other things:

1) A one page summary of many of the points to consider to understand why the African HIV studies have next to no applicability to newborn babies in the US.
http://www.coloradonocirc.org/files/...ing_Points.pdf

2) As far as using any medical rationale as a justification for circumcising newborns, Margaret Sommerville (law professor and bioethicist at McGiill University in Montreal) has this to say (from her book "The Ethical Canary: Science, society, and the Human Spirit"):

>>>>Sommerville Quote>>>>>>

A common error made by those who want to justify infant male circumcision on the basis of medical benefits is that they believe that as long as some such benefits are present, circumcision can be justified as therapeutic, in the sense of preventive health care.

This is not correct.

A medical-benefits or 'therapeutic' justification requires that:

1) overall the medical benefits sought outweigh the risks and harms of the procedure required to obtain them,
2) that this procedure is the only reasonable way to obtain these benefits, and
3) that these benefits are necessary to the well-being of the child.

None of these conditions is fulfilled for routine infant male circumcision.

If we view a child's foreskin as having a valid function, we are no more justified in amputating it than any other part of the child's body unless the operation is medically required treatment and the least harmful way to provide that treatment.

>>>>END QUOTE>>>>


Gillian
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

regrets..

I had a long discussion with my husband about it and he acknowledges responsibility for not being fully informed. I feel really sick! My poor baby! I so wish that I could turn back the clock and properly educate myself before and during my pregnancy. Not only do I feel that I had an unnecessary c-section but I also cir my son which is the hardest because whatever happens to me, I bare the consequences which is fair but for him, he was helpless and I made a bad decision that affected him. That is the worst! I feel like I violated his rights to choose.

At the time, everyone that I talked to about cir either avoided the subject or said that I should do whatever my DH wanted. Not one person, and I talked to everyone, desperate for one thread of research/support that would help me sway my husband, not one person even suggested that I shouldn't do it or better would tell me where I could go to get information about it. I can't even give myself that excuse because, even if there were strong evidence in support of cir, I still feel like my son should have been able to choose when the time came that he was sexually active. It was not my decision to make.

There are so many things that I want to pass on to anyone newly preg. and I will if given the opportunity.

Thank you again for all of your comments, research links and support!
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JAMommy View Post
I had a long discussion with my husband about it and he acknowledges responsibility for not being fully informed. I feel really sick! My poor baby! I so wish that I could turn back the clock and properly educate myself before and during my pregnancy. Not only do I feel that I had an unnecessary c-section but I also cir my son which is the hardest because whatever happens to me, I bare the consequences which is fair but for him, he was helpless and I made a bad decision that affected him. That is the worst! I feel like I violated his rights to choose.
I think it is great that you are sharing this with your husband. It is important that these things get hashed out and that he understands where you are coming from. I wouldn't beat yourself up over this because the fact is what is done is done but you've taken the steps necessary to prevent it from happening again. That is the important thing that you are willing to learn and do better the next time. Out of my entire post I want to make sure you read and think about this paragraph:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwhispers View Post
It's hard to get a rational perspective on these thing the way the media, particularly in the US, has up sold this result. You never hear about results that show circumcision is not protective, again check out Yulia_R's post on recent STD studies in first world countries.
You see this is what happen with your husband. It really isn't particularly his fault either you see the information is out there you just have to know to look for it. Unfortunately, the popular media is largely responsible for circumcision's persistence. Anytime a study that reflects circumcision in a positive light is released it gets up sold and paraded around. Whenever a neutral or negative study is released it is frequently buried. That is the society we are living in. Now it is, of course, not just their fault. The medical profession is perhaps the most at fault because it is extremely rare that a Dr. will give parents a straight answer. Even those Dr.s who don't approve of it are often wishy washy in discussing it. It is not to common, in the US, to hear a doctor strongly advocate against it and even less common for a doctor to refuse to do it. And it is not until the Drs put their foot down that thing might start to improve. Boards like these may eventually prevail even if Drs stay on the sidelines but it will take much longer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAMommy View Post
At the time, everyone that I talked to about cir either avoided the subject or said that I should do whatever my DH wanted. Not one person, and I talked to everyone, desperate for one thread of research/support that would help me sway my husband, not one person even suggested that I shouldn't do it or better would tell me where I could go to get information about it. I can't even give myself that excuse because, even if there were strong evidence in support of cir, I still feel like my son should have been able to choose when the time came that he was sexually active. It was not my decision to make.
The truth is thought that most people are like the Drs they either don't want to get involved or don't know all the facts anyway; this is unfortunate. Most of those who advocate for circumcision likely circumcised their own child and when others do it, it reinforces the appropriateness of their action. Even parents who leave their boys intact sometimes don't wish to get involved in a debate which is disappointing but it isn't something that can easily be solved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAMommy View Post
There are so many things that I want to pass on to anyone newly preg. and I will if given the opportunity.

Thank you again for all of your comments, research links and support!
Just to reiterate the point don't beat yourself up too much you've made a lot of mends just by learning so that you can protect your next son and that is a big deal. I hope that you will stick around and learn more, participate in the discussion both here and other places it might pop up, and hopefully pass this knowledge on to your friends that is the best thing we all can do. Perhaps even your husband can read and comment from time to time too. The more people who are informed the sooner this ends.
post #11 of 11
Forget the studies, look at entire countries.

if you look at

http://www.circumstitions.com/HIV.html

Where circumcision doesn't prevent AIDS
chart.

You cannot conclude that circ reduces aids.
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