Originally Posted by KMK_Mama
....she said she will most likely circumcise any future sons and she is 35 weeks pregnant and doesn't know what she is having. She said the reason she regrets NOT circumcising is because of all the studies that have come out saying that circumcising reduces STD's and AIDS. Can you please link me to some articles which explain the protective nature of the foreskin against STD's and AIDS? She admits she has never seen any and would like to.....Thanks!
OK So here are a few things you can present to her. A study just published
in the March 2008 Journal of Pediatrics, "Circumcision and Risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections in a Birth Cohort" by N. P. Dickson, T. Van Roode, P. Herbison and C. Paul, J Pediatr 2008;152:383-7, shows that circumcision does NOT prevent STDs. 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.) of about 10,000 men and the British Study
(STI 2003 Volume 79: Pages 499-500, December 2003) of approximately 2,000 men] which found that early childhood circumcision does not markedly reduce the risk of the common STIs in the general population in such countries. And now this one in the April edition of the Journal of STD:
|Circumcision appeared to have an effect on rates of genital warts:
4 1/2% of circumcised men reported having genital warts
2.4% of uncircumcised men reported having genital warts
Perhaps you could ask her if circumcision protects men from HIV then what is a reasonable explanation as to why the US has both the highest rate of HIV in the west while at the same time having one of the highest rates of circumcised men? If in fact a man is circumcised does it relieve his responsibility to practice safe sex? The Australian Federation of AIDS Organization's (AFAO) had two excellent publications on this issue. Their July 2007 statement
one that was distributed at at last year's International AIDS Society Conference. The second said in part: How a man factors the known risk reduction alongside the unknown variables into his sexual decision-making is the important thing. Unless he opts to use condoms with all sexual partners whose HIV status is positive or unknown, he remains at risk of acquiring HIV (and if he does this, there is no need to be circumcised for added protection)."
That's better advice.
There is evidence that the foreskin might provide a protective role. Last March there was a research paper
published concerning this in Nature Medicine, Volume 13: Pages 367-371, de Witte et al. which concluded in part that:
|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 might that say about circumcision? Hint: The foreskin is rich in Langerhans cells. Perhaps (and this is just a theory) perhaps in western countries the Langerin mechanisms are functioning better than in population like Africa. Perhaps it is a genetic thing or perhaps a weakened immune response due to living conditions? Or perhaps we don't know the long term effects. Perhaps when circumcised as an infant by the time one begins sexual activity the head of the penis is sufficiently kerinalized to increase abrasiveness thus spreading HIV more easily? So the thing is we really don't know what is going on but even if there was a protective effect it wouldn't justify infant circumcision as a boy can make a decision based on that when he is old enough.
You may also want to remind her about the differences between relative and absolute risk with regard to this issue and if you think she can handle it ask her if a study came out talking about FGM and HIV protection, like the Stallings
would she feel bad that she didn't seek out that 'advantage' for her daughter?
|Female circumcision and HIV infection in Tanzania: for better or for worse? Stallings R.Y.1, Karugendo E. presented at the 3rd IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment in 2005. They concluded in part that: "In the final logistic model, circumcision remained highly significant [OR=0.60; 95% CI 0.41,0.88] while adjusted for region, household wealth, age, lifetime partners, union status, and recent ulcer."
Let us know if you need more.