Here's a good letter to deal with the HIV/Circumcision confusion that's rampant right now:http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/459/595670
ABC, not circumcision, gives best defence against HIV
Monday, 5th November, 2007
By David J. Llewellyn
Dr. Myers Lugemwa is to be congratulated on his insightful article on
the attempt to circumcise Uganda by US doctors. It is so obvious that
Abstinence, Being Faithful and Condoms (ABC) are the only rational
defense against the HIV virus, that it is hard to believe that many
in the international health community have bought into the
ridiculous "circumcise to prevent HIV" theory.
The best way to prevent sexually-transmitted HIV and all other
venereal diseases is by ABC. It is that simple.
It appears that there may be more to the push for circumcision than
merely the improvement of public health. Some of those pushing this
strategy have their academic reputations and careers on the line.
Others have familial traditions that emphasise circumcision. For
example, Daniel Halperin, one of the foremost proponents of
the "circumcise to prevent HIV" movement, admitted in a newspaper
article years ago that his grandfather had been a part-time Jewish
ritual circumciser. He has also been quoted as saying that women like
circumcised men and that sex is better if you are circumcised — two
very subjective statements with which most uncircumcised men and
their wives would disagree. Others may feel the need to validate
their own circumcised status or academic theories by encouraging
others to be circumcised.
Two of the primary authors of the recent randomised controlled trials
recently have collaborated with long-time proponents of circumcision
on the formulation of a pamphlet encouraging women worldwide to push
their husbands to be circumcised and to circumcise their sons. One of
those proponents, a circumcised middle-aged Australian, the primary
author of the pamphlet, has written that circumcision is "an
imperative" for the 21st Century!
As the Trojans learned, one should always "beware of Greeks bearing
gifts," even if those "Greeks" are Americans. Ugandans should know
that one of the early proponents of medicalised circumcision in the
US, Peter Remondino, M.D., in the late 19th Century advocated
circumcising all black Americans to prevent what he called "the Negro
Modern day Ugandans may wish to consider whether or not the US push
to circumcise them has any similar patronising, racist overtones or
overtones of colonialism.
We know that the foreskin is an integral part of the penis. A recent
study has shown that it is the most sensitive part of the penis.
Earlier unrefuted studies proved that it contains most of the fine
touch nerve receptors in the penis. It may well mediate the
It makes intercourse easier and more enjoyable for both the man and
the woman. No rational man would give up his foreskin if he realised
the sexual consequences. It is immoral and unethical to remove
normal, sexually-valuable tissue from an infant or child, male or
female, without present medical necessity. Ugandans should think
twice about what they would be losing before agreeing to circumcision
for themselves or their sons.
That Americans may still circumcise the majority of their sons is not
an example to emulate.
As Dr. Lugemwa points out, circumcision began in the US in a vain
attempt to prevent masturbation. Of course, it did not work. But
Americans became invested with their circumcised penises and it has
proven challenging to change their minds. Nevertheless, Ugandans
should know that the rate of circumcision in the US has been dropping
slowly for the last 30 years as the public has learned of the value
of the foreskin. In California and some other western states, the
circumcision rate for newborn boys is below 35%.
Ugandans should also know that circumcision did not prevent HIV from
wrecking havoc in the US. The US has a much higher rate of HIV
infection and a much higher rate of circumcision than does Europe.
This puts the lie to the hypothesis that circumcision "prevents" HIV.
It is not a "vaccine," although its proponents would like Ugandans to
believe that it is. One might reasonably wonder what the real motive
is behind those who would try to sell a mutilating surgery to others
with such hyperbole.
Ugandans wanting more information about the controversy surrounding
male circumcision might wish to consult www.cirp.org
The writer is an attorney at Law Atlanta, Georgia, US