When peer pressure becomes coercion - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 52 Old 08-04-2010, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
brant31's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 255
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We all know that one of the most ridiculous reasons to consider putting your healthy child through penile surgery is the chance he may be teased in the locker room. There are so many holes in this theory that it's approaching urban myth status... few schools have group showers anymore; the circumcision rate in Canada and Australia is well below 50%, and approaching that in the US; and if your child has been raised with an appropriate self-esteem, the correct response is not shame but "Why are you looking at my penis anyway?" or "You're the one who's missing something."

None of us here condones their child making fun of another boy in class or at the pool because he has been circumcised. It may have happened for sound medical reasons or because the parents felt they had no choice given their faith, though far more often boys in the US are circumcised without any compelling reason at all. It's a surgical freebie through insurance, HMO or Medicaid, so it happens almost automatically. Whatever the reason, it is never right to make fun of another's penis.

So, imagine my outrage when I recently sat through an entire evening of presentations on "marketing" circumcision in Eastern and Southern Africa. I attended the 2010 AIDS conference in Vienna specifically to learn what the current plans are for ramping up circumcision. As many of you may know, the big news is a massive fundraising effort (between 1 and 2 billion US dollars) to circumcise 38 million African males over the age of 17 (and as low as 14 in cases of "emancipation" -- being married or working away from home). The goal is to snip off 38 million foreskins by 2015.

What shocked me even more, however, was the nonchalance with which the presenters talked about starting the infant & child circumcision programs in Year 2 of this 5-year plan. When they are through, they expect to have circumcised every newborn male and every boy of school age in 13 countries.

Dr. Iulian Circo, a young Romanian doctor, has been given the task by UNAIDS and WHO of marketing circumcision to boys by any appealing means his team can think of. So here is the plan he detailed 2 weeks ago:

Knowing how much boys love soccer, and yet how poor they are in Swaziland and many other African countries, the committee determined they would put together competitive leagues and bring in soccer heroes to teach the boys. All those who sign up get beautiful new uniforms, rides to compete in away games, and the best equipment money can buy. It is a dream come true for the impoverished boys in these countries.

The catch? To qualify, each team must convince a majority of the boys to have their foreskins cut off. Any team in which a majority of the boys fail to get circumcised is automatically disqualified from the competition. It is up to the boys on the team to put the maximum peer pressure on each other to get circumcised, and the sponsors help this by coaching the boys with lines like "it is more manly to be circumcised", "it is cleaner and safer to be circumcised" and "brave boys go have their circumcision without complaining".

A member of the audience stood up and told Dr. Circo that there is a fine line between encouragement and coercion, and it seems the doctor and his team have crossed it. Dr. Circo chuckled and said that his team wasn't coercing anyone, merely using natural peer pressure among boys to get them to meet the committee's goals. It would also teach boys the values of being men, since any boy reluctant or scared to get circumcised would have to learn to "take a bullet for the team" (his words). There would be no leeway or sympathy for any soccer team in which the boys failed at the task and did not convince a majority of their teammates to have their foreskins cut off; they're immediately suspended from the competition for defying the rule of majority circumcision.

Oh, how I wished right then and there that half that lecture hall was filled with MDC mamas and dads. You can imagine the reactions to the smirking young Dr. Circo.
brant31 is offline  
#2 of 52 Old 08-04-2010, 02:57 PM
 
mamaofthree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,346
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
that is horrifying! i really have no words to say...

h

mama to 6 amazing children joy.gif married to my main man for 21 years love.gif and finally home FULL time dishes.gifhang.gifknit.gif

mamaofthree is offline  
#3 of 52 Old 08-04-2010, 03:10 PM
 
buckeyedoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 567
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by brant31 View Post

The catch? To qualify, each team must convince a majority of the boys to have their foreskins cut off. Any team in which a majority of the boys fail to get circumcised is automatically disqualified from the competition. It is up to the boys on the team to put the maximum peer pressure on each other to get circumcised, and the sponsors help this by coaching the boys with lines like "it is more manly to be circumcised", "it is cleaner and safer to be circumcised" and "brave boys go have their circumcision without complaining".


Katie (36)
 
Married mom to Patrick (2004), Noah (2006) and Liam (2010) VBAC!!
winner.jpg                                        nocirc.gif                                  jumpers.gif
buckeyedoc is offline  
#4 of 52 Old 08-04-2010, 03:11 PM
 
buckeyedoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 567
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I also can't believe his last name is Circo. It's like Dr. DeCock. Too easy.

Katie (36)
 
Married mom to Patrick (2004), Noah (2006) and Liam (2010) VBAC!!
winner.jpg                                        nocirc.gif                                  jumpers.gif
buckeyedoc is offline  
#5 of 52 Old 08-04-2010, 04:01 PM
 
Pirogi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 964
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OMG. I can't believe there was actually a conference about this.

By what leap of logic did they promote RIC for infants and children in Africa? How could they possibly extrapolate the results of the African studies to include children? Did they address this at all?
Pirogi is offline  
#6 of 52 Old 08-04-2010, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
brant31's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 255
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
They put out slick, heavy-gauge brochures (I snagged copies of each) for the circumcision programs for each country. Most of the text and pictures concerned centers being built at great cost for the sole purpose of carrying out mass circumcisions.

The section of each detailing the upcoming circumcision of infants was entitled "Voluntary Male Infant Circumcision Programmes". Anyone else see the irony?
brant31 is offline  
#7 of 52 Old 08-04-2010, 04:26 PM
 
Pirogi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 964
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow. I need to schedule a visit with a therapist or something. I just feel like we are losing ground on everything that matters.
Pirogi is offline  
#8 of 52 Old 08-04-2010, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
brant31's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 255
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The mantra of the presentations was Stigma Stigma Stigma. In other words, once the cutters had gone through all the 14-and-up, it would be a stigma for any boy to have a foreskin. So as not to shame the little ones, and to ensure that they were "protected" from HIV from the earliest age, and to reduce the cost of having to cut a lot of adults later with anesthesia, the circumcision program directors decided it would be best to circumcise every living male in those 13 countries starting 2 years from now. Actually, they anticipate only about 80% participation from adults, but the infants and young boys have no say in the matter so it will be universal. Any parent who balks will be counseled until they see the light.

Instead of making circumcision optional for any adult who is sexually active and believes circumcision will benefit him, WHO and UNAIDS decided it would be easier and cheaper to have NO foreskins in Eastern and Southern Africa starting with the class of 2012.

Brazil and Thailand both faced daunting statistics just a few years ago, and both countries launched tremendously successful containment programs without resorting at all to circumcision. The only possible explanation for why this could not also work in Africa is a presumption that Africans are too promiscuous and lazy to use condoms or take their meds, both of which are absolutely untrue.

Several of the presenters in Vienna remarked how "embarrassing", "uncomfortable" or "shameful" it would be to have a foreskin when the majority are cut. Anyone who read between the lines that evening could see that the real agenda here is that uncut is primitive and circumcised is beautiful and modern. I don't think there was a single presenter who wasn't disgusted by foreskin. Last year one presenter even put up a photo of a nude intact male from the waist to knees and drew elephant ears on his thighs, as if the intact penis were an elephant's trunk.

When they insist it's about hygiene and health, it's really about appearance and about validating their own status.
brant31 is offline  
#9 of 52 Old 08-04-2010, 04:59 PM
 
LavenderMae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: where I write my own posts!
Posts: 13,477
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So incredibly sick!!

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
LavenderMae is offline  
#10 of 52 Old 08-04-2010, 05:08 PM
 
tennisdude23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 415
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirogi View Post
Wow. I need to schedule a visit with a therapist or something. I just feel like we are losing ground on everything that matters.
Actually, the word is getting out everywhere; so, big progress is being made, but like any other social justice/human rights issue, it's always two steps forward, one step back. To be honest, I am not at all surprised by the cronyism and corruption within the UN programs, as these two words virtually define the UN. The UN is a self-serving organization; and unfortunately, it's list of failures is quite long. I really cannot recollect one successful UN intervention anywhere, though perhaps my definition of success is rather stringent. I think most people realize that UNAIDS has done little to successfully stop HIV in Africa and that the disease is diminishing on its own. Along these lines, a lot of people and organizations are at the very least skeptical of mass circumcision programs, and a good number are horrified by this ludicrous idea, both in the West and Africa.

Here are two good articles to read on these points:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-r..._b_654904.html
http://news.myjoyonline.com/features/201007/49500.asp

Lastly, to address the issue of funding, it's important to remember that everything is always about money. In the case of HIV and Africa, funding is drying up and a lot of organizations are getting desperate to please their donors. Thus, they are clinging at straws to say that they are making progress, which I think partially explains this circumcision phenomenon in Africa. In any case, funding is a murky issue because a lot of the money goes through very corrupt channels, many times landing in the pockets of greedy government officials instead of going to people who need it. This is just one of many reasons why it's so difficult to give people access to basic resources, such as water, for example. As a result, the idea that Western funded programs are going to circumcise millions upon millions of Africans in five years is pretty naive in my opinion. It's extremely difficult to set up one clean health clinic anywhere in Africa, let alone hundreds of thousands. So, I think simple logistics, common sense, and general stupidity of mass circumcision will halt these programs sooner or later. It's just a matter of time, hopefully.
tennisdude23 is offline  
#11 of 52 Old 08-04-2010, 05:22 PM
 
tennisdude23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 415
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by brant31 View Post
Several of the presenters in Vienna remarked how "embarrassing", "uncomfortable" or "shameful" it would be to have a foreskin when the majority are cut.
While it's always unfortunate to come across opinions such as these, I think it's important to keep in mind that they are shared by a minority of people and that most AIDS/HIV work in Africa does not focus on circumcision. There are millions of people out there working hard to stop this disease but only a handful have taken up the circumcision mantra. Indeed, I feel it's paramount to keep all of this in perspective.
tennisdude23 is offline  
#12 of 52 Old 08-04-2010, 05:35 PM
 
Pirogi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 964
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I hope you're right, tennisdude. Because we HAVE exported our birth practices to other countries. We HAVE exported our poor diet. If we export circumcision too, it only takes 2 or 3 generations before the culture will be exactly like ours - aghast at keeping males intact. Doctors will no longer have education or training in intact penis care. Moms and dads will perpetuate the cycle. Fierce debates will ensue over the issue, but this time propping up their arguments with AIDS prevention tactics will carry more weight.

It is much easier to stem the circumcision tide before it becomes the norm in a society, than after.
Pirogi is offline  
#13 of 52 Old 08-04-2010, 05:39 PM
 
mamaofthree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,346
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i am wondering what long term studies have been done to show that being circ'd has prevented the spread of HIV and AIDS. do they have more then a few years of info out there.
and why is the push so hard in africa? is it because they don't think africans are smart enough to get it? why would you forgo education and head right to circing?
i recall reading on here or someplace that USA has a big population of circ'd males with AIDS and HIV, is that not proof that it isn't a sure bet that circ won't prevent AIDS?

thank you for the info

h

mama to 6 amazing children joy.gif married to my main man for 21 years love.gif and finally home FULL time dishes.gifhang.gifknit.gif

mamaofthree is offline  
#14 of 52 Old 08-04-2010, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
brant31's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 255
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, that's precisely why my colleagues and I were in Vienna. We were promoting education, condom use, sterile syringes and surgical equipment, and the availability of ARVs/HAART. Our message resonated with so many that we had over 1,000 visitors come by and talk with us.

I agree with you that the circumcision ramp-up is doomed to fail, and the promoters are already talking about how if they fail to reach the critical 80% their programs may yield nothing (and not be their fault!). We're already getting plenty of feedback that a lot of the recently circumcised men are not using condoms at all because they feel "protected" from HIV. Boy, that's a disaster waiting to happen.

The circumcision brigade is essentially a team of people who have staked their entire careers on the circ mantle in return for guaranteed high salaries and job security. They see no human rights issue in this; just a possibility of health improvement (which they still can't adequately/scientifically explain how) and some resumé-building stuff.

But don't anyone underestimate the power and extent of the circumcision proposals... they were on everyone's lips at both Cape Town last year and Vienna this year. With $300 million from the Gates Foundation and both Bill Gates and Bill Clinton on stage this year pounding for the circumcision ramp-up, it is a big deal. The big deal.
brant31 is offline  
#15 of 52 Old 08-04-2010, 05:44 PM
 
PinkinPA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: PA
Posts: 384
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Has any of this information been made available to Intact America or an other organizations??

This is beyond sick.
PinkinPA is offline  
#16 of 52 Old 08-04-2010, 05:53 PM
 
Arduinna's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 32,629
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well the UN and WHO in supporting this has basically lost whatever credibiity they had left with me.
Arduinna is offline  
#17 of 52 Old 08-04-2010, 08:25 PM
 
Night_Nurse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,951
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Oh. My God!

Mom &  RN   intactivist.gif
Pardon the typos - CWOK (cat walking on keyboard)   signcirc1.gif

Night_Nurse is offline  
#18 of 52 Old 08-04-2010, 09:57 PM
 
buckeyedoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 567
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaofthree View Post
i am wondering what long term studies have been done to show that being circ'd has prevented the spread of HIV and AIDS.
This is exactly what I think: circumcision won't make any difference in the long term. Even if there is a "real" statistically significant decrease in female to male HIV transmission over 18 months following circumcision, it isn't biologically significant. So a man who continues to live the same lifestyle in an HIV endemic area will be infected anyway, whether it takes one exposure or two exposures.

Katie (36)
 
Married mom to Patrick (2004), Noah (2006) and Liam (2010) VBAC!!
winner.jpg                                        nocirc.gif                                  jumpers.gif
buckeyedoc is offline  
#19 of 52 Old 08-05-2010, 12:30 AM
 
eepster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: growing in the Garden State ............
Posts: 9,510
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The soccer deal sounds very reminiscent of what missionaries did back in the colonial days.

Timmy's Mommy WARNINGyslexic typing with help of preschooler, beware of typos
eepster is offline  
#20 of 52 Old 08-05-2010, 01:10 AM
 
PuppyFluffer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: East Coast, USA
Posts: 9,177
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
None of this surprises me.

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
PuppyFluffer is offline  
#21 of 52 Old 08-05-2010, 01:58 AM
 
WTHamI?'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Um...let me look out the window...
Posts: 382
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That is horrifying.

What's really sad is that I can see this making the spread of AIDS and other STDs even worse because men who have been circumcised will think they are protected. A slightly reduced risk does not equal no risk. The people who are pushing this are not even thinking through the consequences.

Full-time RVing wifey, TTC #1 and working towards living debt-free!
WTHamI? is offline  
#22 of 52 Old 08-05-2010, 02:30 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Lost in a good book (in San Diego)
Posts: 4,819
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
The soccer deal sounds very reminiscent of what missionaries did back in the colonial days.
Seriously. This whole situation makes me want to vomit.
St. Margaret is offline  
#23 of 52 Old 08-05-2010, 02:45 AM
 
jenP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 997
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Funny how quickly it went from "These HIV studies are being done on consenting adult volunteers; we have no plans to circumcise babies; we're all about helping consenting adults make their own decisions about how best to reduce their own risk of acquiring HIV" and so on to:
"We want to circumcise every male in Africa who is alive now, and then get all the new ones, too, as soon as they are born."

Jen
jenP is offline  
#24 of 52 Old 08-05-2010, 03:41 AM
 
eepster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: growing in the Garden State ............
Posts: 9,510
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by WTHamI? View Post
That is horrifying.

What's really sad is that I can see this making the spread of AIDS and other STDs even worse because men who have been circumcised will think they are protected. A slightly reduced risk does not equal no risk. The people who are pushing this are not even thinking through the consequences.
Yes, though the idea of so many men and boys losing a healthy functional part of their penises is sad, and a few will suffer from more major complications; the true tragedy will be in the numbers that will contract and spread HIV b/c they are being sold on this protection and will substitute it for safe sex.

Timmy's Mommy WARNINGyslexic typing with help of preschooler, beware of typos
eepster is offline  
#25 of 52 Old 08-05-2010, 03:43 AM
 
Papai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,478
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
Papai is offline  
#26 of 52 Old 08-05-2010, 11:58 AM
 
buckeyedoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 567
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It also seems like the whole initiative has racist undertones. "Let's circumcise all of the black Africans, but the white Europeans can use other means to prevent HIV."

Katie (36)
 
Married mom to Patrick (2004), Noah (2006) and Liam (2010) VBAC!!
winner.jpg                                        nocirc.gif                                  jumpers.gif
buckeyedoc is offline  
#27 of 52 Old 08-05-2010, 12:15 PM
 
billikengirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: TN
Posts: 413
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by WTHamI? View Post
That is horrifying.

What's really sad is that I can see this making the spread of AIDS and other STDs even worse because men who have been circumcised will think they are protected. A slightly reduced risk does not equal no risk. The people who are pushing this are not even thinking through the consequences.
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?

Melissa, wife to Brian, mommy to my home born, breastfeeding, sling-riding, sleep sharing, cloth diapered, intact kiddos Adam 11/09 and Leah 8/12.

billikengirl is offline  
#28 of 52 Old 08-05-2010, 12:18 PM
 
jenP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 997
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeyedoc View Post
It also seems like the whole initiative has racist undertones. "Let's circumcise all of the black Africans, but the white Europeans can use other means to prevent HIV."
jenP is offline  
#29 of 52 Old 08-05-2010, 12:22 PM
 
jenP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 997
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by billikengirl View Post
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?
Yeah, someone recently addressed that in another thread. To paraphrase: "lucky thing all the men in the U.S. were circumcised or the AIDS epidemic here would have been way, way worse than it was."

Fear-mongering, in other words. Quick, circumcise everybody or we'll have even more infections!!

Jen
jenP is offline  
#30 of 52 Old 08-05-2010, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
brant31's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 255
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Papai View Post
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.


Quote:
Originally Posted by billikengirl View Post
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.
brant31 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off