Sunday, August 30, 2009

Circumcision Politics

Came across this article. Gosh, man is a political animal.

Not yet sure whether circumcision protects gay men from HIV. Seems as if the scientific consensus on that is not formed. But, it is a political issue.
Article is worth a read.

1 comment:

spiralx said...

The evidence is contradictory, though it seems to have a part to play. The best approach I've seen so far is this one:

which says this:

Circumcision: A cut against HIV
August 26, 2009

Three large studies in Africa have shown that male circumcision can reduce the transmission of HIV/AIDS from women to men by up to 60 percent. This has led the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to consider promoting circumcision of infant boys in this country. Such a tactic makes sense against a virus that infects more than 50,000 Americans each year.

The protection is not complete, however, and the organizers of the African studies still advised all participants, circumcised or uncircumcised, to use condoms. While a majority of US parents already circumcise their babies, rates are lower among two groups that suffer disproportionately from HIV/AIDS: African-Americans and Hispanics.

There is no evidence that circumcision protects against male-to-male transmission of the virus, or from men to women. Still, a technique that reduces the prevalence of the disease will ultimately benefit all groups. Circumcision is, of course, a choice rooted in religious and cultural norms. No one should be forced to circumcise a son. But where the health benefits are clear, the CDC should be equally clear in its recommendations. Circumcision is no panacea, but it deserves the CDC’s support.

Three points to note, there:

it appears to help protect against women-to-men transmission, but not in any other case;

condoms are still strongly recommended for all sexual activity;

and curiously, there appears to be an ethnic factor involved as well.

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