Mothering Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did you all hear what the biggest suggestion from the AIDS conference was-- CIRCUMCISM! There was a study in Africa and men that were circumsized were %60 less likely to acquire the AIDS virus. Public health is jumping on the bandwagon and there are lots of other studies to verify it going on right now. Men are lining up in Africa to get circumsized because they see it as protection. Thoughts anyone? I think this is definitely not going to help the plight against circing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,845 Posts
I also heard that the average male only has access to about 10 condoms a year.

I can see both sides of the issue--if there is honestly such a decreased risk, then despite philosophical ideologies, circumcision should be available in areas where HIV and AIDS are simply out of control. But only if it is made free, available to all, and done in a safe, clean environment. If instruments are not properly cleaned, for example, then it will be more likely to spread blood borne diseases than decrease them.

It also needs to be done in conjunction with intense education regarding safe sexual practices and with greater availability of condoms.

Honestly, if I lived in an area where HIV/AIDS rates were 25%or greater, I would also probably opt to have my son circumsized (though not as an infant); anything to prevent infection. I can understand the desire to do anything possible to prevent one's child from suffering like that. I only hope that if they *do* start recommending routine circumcision, it is done safely, and with full disclosure of the fact that it only decreases one's risk, not eliminates it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,527 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by MsDoula
Perhaps hygiene should be a topic of concern rather than an unnecessary procedure, not to mention safe sex practices. JMHO

agreed. but you know you can't trust people to take care of themselves, so it's better if we just surgically 'handle' it for them.



I think it's horrific that we're dealing with a huge group of people in this way. Then again, I'm not convinced that 'AIDS' is what we're dealing with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
I remain completely unconvinced of that study's validity for the following reason: The US has had one of the highest rates of routine infant circumcision of any developed country in the world for generations, yet we also have the highest rate of AIDS of any developed country as well.

The skeptical part of me suspects that that study's results are carefully crafted to appear "anti-AIDS", but are in fact much more "pro-circ" than anything else.

That study's results are getting a lot of press lately because finding a "magic bullet" to prevent AIDS makes for great headlines, but in the real world those same results don't stand up to the harsh light of critical scrutiny.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,213 Posts
Male circumcision hasn't worked too well in the US for preventing HIV.
If logic serves me I would gather it isn't going to work in Africa either. I think it's sick to prey on a countries vunerability to further a personal cause, which is all that study was anyway.
And of course since circ is decreasing in the US a nice little study touting how circing can prevent a deadly STD is not surprising (annoying as hell though).

I think it's very very scary that parents will believe that circing will keep their sons safe from getting HIV. Although I think many are just looking for a justification and this one fits nicely I guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,574 Posts
I thought this study was commonly thought of as flawed. We are speaking about that one study done in Africa, correct? How is it back in the limelight again? In fact, the place that I read about the common belief that the study was flawed was Mothering Magazine (Jan/Feb 2006, Page 18, Editor's Note).

Please inform me about who has something to gain by promoting circumcision. Is is really going to make people money? I am confused.
:

I am so sick about people inflicting this terrible procedure on infants because they are assuming their child will be practicing risky behavior later in life and because they believe in 1 flawed study.

Please enlighten me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,288 Posts
My response to the HIV study hoopla:

Research is conflicting/inconclusive.

There is no indication that the publicized (60% reduction) study---which was halted early---took into account healing time during which the circumcised men weren't having sex. Reputable medical journals such as the BMJ and Lancet refused to publish this study on ethical grounds, and the only place that ended up accepting it for publication ended up being a relatively new and little known journal that's available online only.

These men and their partners WILL inevitably consider themselves protected. Even if the lofty 60% reduction were true, the suggestion that male circumcision is the equivalent to "surgical vaccination" is an incredibly dangerous, deceptive exaggeration that is destined for tragic results.

Regardless of anyone's opinion of the reliability of this infamous study, one thing everyone seems to agree on is that it is still no substitution for correct and consistant use of condoms.

On NPR yesterday, they said in the areas of Africa most at risk the average man has access to only 10 condoms PER YEAR. So the best, least expensive way of preventing the spread of HIV hasn't even been made available to these men in a realistic way. It's no wonder that the epidemic is so out of control, and the lack of medicalized genital cutting of men in Africa has, IMO, little if anything to do with it.

In addition, there is a mistaken belief or old wives tale among many that sex with a virgin will cure AIDS; if such extreme examples of basic lack of knowledge and understanding about HIV still exist, the excessive publicizing of this study and promotion and implimentation of mass male circumcision as a 'surgical vaccine' is akin to negligent homicide.

Sweeping estimates of the number of lives that could be saved through mass circumcisions of African men also doesn't consider that many of these procedures will be done by laypersons or ritual practitioners without regard for or access to basic infection control precautions like sterile gloves and single use instruments. Yet another way the obsessive hype for circumcision is likely to cost lives rather than saving them.

I find the entire issue heartbreaking and truly believe it's going to backfire horribly.

Jen

PS. Slightly OT but does the Bush Administrations advocacy of 'abstinence only' sex education and cuts/prohibitions of family planning programs overseas have anything to do with the lack of condom promotion and availability in Africa, I wonder?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,758 Posts
I am so sick of hearing about this study! Yesterday it was on NPR and it sounded like circ was the cure for AIDS. Hello, can we just say ummm, use a condom instead of yippe more genital mutilation. Also, what I don't understand is I live in Japan where circ is rarely done--yet, not a lot of AIDS here. However in the US where circ is rampant AIDS is also rampant. It all just makes me so
:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
If "circumcision prevents AIDS" because there's no skin, then why is it that we put bandages on scrapes, cuts, and other wounds so the skin can grow back as quickly as possible?

How is it that skin=good everywhere except on the penis?


ARGHHHHH

(Anyone know)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,288 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by bugmenot
If "circumcision prevents AIDS" because there's no skin, then why is it that we put bandages on scrapes, cuts, and other wounds so the skin can grow back as quickly as possible?

How is it that skin=good everywhere except on the penis?


ARGHHHHH

(Anyone know)
I think the idea is that if you take as much sensitive, delicate skin away as possible, and make the glans an external organ...the remaining skin with thicken and toughen like a callous, making a more effective barrier against the virus.

The pro-circ researchers think HIV has an easier time invading the cells of the foreskin compared to the cells on the shaft and keratinized glans.

Jen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by pdx.mothernurture
I think the idea is that if you take as much sensitive, delicate skin away as possible, and make the glans an external organ...the remaining skin with thicken and toughen like a callous, making a more effective barrier against the virus.

The pro-circ researchers think HIV has an easier time invading the cells of the foreskin compared to the cells on the shaft and keratinized glans.

Jen
But if it's hard, it's not as sensitive, right?


And what would a stereotypical female want? Something rock hard, or something sensitive?

Just use a condom, that's what I say. Even if the skin is thick and tough, there's still the open urethra.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,227 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by bugmenot
Just use a condom, that's what I say.
wuh????
condoms are not so available, and there are culturals issues and religious issues and GENDER issues as well. Condoms are no more the answer than circ is. I can't wait to dive more into this with my master's degree ( public health). I LOVE the "public health" stance on breastfeeding, midwifery...but circ, vax and HIV, oh yeah, I am gonna get some flack on those topics in my program.
:
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top