CDC's HIV Prevention Conference To Focus On Routine Circumcision

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Centers for Disease Control's National HIV Prevention Conference convenes this week in Atlanta. One of the topics to be discussed will be routine circumcision of newborn males in the United States.

The topic of circumcision has strong advocates on both sides of the debate.

Recent studies have shown that men in African countries with high AIDS levels could reduce their risk of infection by half with circumcision. The studies aren’t perfect as they focused on heterosexual men who are at risk of getting HIV from infected female partners. No one knows if the same holds true for men who have sex with men.

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The CDC HIV/AIDS Division's chief epidemiologist, Dr Peter Kilmarx is reported to comment that “every potential step that could prevent the spread of HIV should be seriously considered.” He did acknowledge that the situation in Africa was different than in the US so the effect of male circumcision is likely to be less dramatic. Differences between the U.S. and Africa include a lower rate of HIV in the U.S. than in Africa, difference in transmission (male to male more common in the U.S.), and different health care infrastructures.

The conference has not even begun. No new public health policy regarding circumcision has been written. The critics are already objecting. Critics say it subjects baby boys to medically unnecessary surgery without their consent. They also argue that the facts show that circumcision only reduces the risk of HIV infection and does not eliminate it. It is recommended that even circumcised men wear condoms.

Approximately 80% of adult American men are already circumcised. The rate of circumcision of newborns has fallen. Only 65% of newborn males were circumcised in 1999. Whites are more likely to be circumcised than blacks and Hispanics.

The American Academy of Pediatrics' official policy states: Circumcision is “not essential to the child's current well-being.” The NYT reports that the group is revising its guidelines and will likely do away with the neutral tone in favor of a more encouraging policy stating that circumcision has health benefits beyond HIV prevention, like reducing urinary tract infections for baby boys.

Sources
New York Times
American Academy of Pediatrics

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Comments

First, babies do not have sex. So, RIC is not relevant to reducing HIV. Let the adult man decide if he wishes to have a portion of his sex organ removed by circumcision. Second, having non-medically required surgery on an infant is a violation of that infant's human rights and bodily integrity. It is illegal to perform non-medically required genital surgery on infant girls in the US. Why is there a double standard to allow genital surgery on baby boys? Many men are finding out that they miss their foreskin. They, like myself, are restoring their foreskin to regain what was taken from us at birth. See www.RestoringForeskin.org to read accounts of men who wish they had never been circumcised and are doing something about it.
20,000 FINE TOUCH AND STRETCH nerve endings should NOT be amputated from baby boys without asking the owner. The CDC recomends that we take the boys main pleasure zones and expose them to staph infection. This is such crap. There is a greater chance of the baby boy getting MRSA staph from this in a US hospital than the same kid getting HIV through his life. This is such a strange idea that one wonders why the US Meds have this obsession. We have higher HIV and very high Circ rate as compared to natural uncut EU and JP. Could it be cut male Drs and female MDs that are from cut tradition are trying to find a way to keep this barbaric practice going in the US? No other developed country is saying this! They think we are obsessed with choping off baby boy genitals. The alleged risk change (not seen in non african studies) is from 3.2% risk to about 1.78 % risk. The Africa studies also showed women are more likely to get HIV from infected cut guy than natural uncut. Look it up the same africa studies found cut transfered HIV to women at a much higher rate. The individual does not get much from this. One needs to avoid risk and use a condom. This is a fraud pushed by people that don't have it or don't know the main male pleasure zones are in the parts cut off by circumcision. One thing is certain, no person should have pleasure zones amputated without being asked. Stop doing this to babies.