Monday, June 17, 2013

Circumcision, HIV and AIDS

Did you hear that circumcision reduces the risk of contracting HIV through heterosexual relations up to 60%?

Do you know what's the absolute risk of a male contracting HIV from a female partner?

10 reasons why circumcision is not a good strategy against HIV and AIDS, courtesy of Intact America:

1. More effective, non-surgical HIV prevention methods already exist. Condoms and other safe sex practices protect all sexual partners over the long term.

2. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are not applicable to the real world. The three African “trials” have not been replicated anywhere and, because members of the “control” groups were either circumcised or lost to follow-up, there is no way of tracking long-term results.

3. Mass circumcision campaigns squander limited resources by failing to identify those most at risk, and failing to offer unbiased information. Supporting circumcision of children and men who are not at risk and may never be at risk is unethical and wasteful.

4. Mass circumcision campaigns are unscientific.Men are being circumcised regardless of their HIV status, putting their partners at risk, and making accurate assessment of the campaigns’ efficacy impossible.

5. Mass circumcision campaigns are unethical. Patient protections such as informed consent and follow-up for long-term complications are cursory or absent. Evidence is emerging that boys and men who refuse circumcision are being stigmatized and excluded from participation in sports and other social activities.

6. Mass circumcision campaigns attempt to normalize and sell circumcision in cultures where the intact male body is traditionally valued. Boys –like girls– should be protected from genital cutting to which they cannot consent, and which has lifelong consequences.

7. Male circumcision puts women at GREATER risk for contracting HIV. Women whose circumcised male partners erroneously believe they cannot spread the disease will be unable to negotiate safe sex practices.

8. Circumcision results in burdensome complications in boys and men. The World Health Organization has noted that clinical circumcisions have an 18% complication rate. A neonatal circumcision complication rate of 20.2% was found in Nigeria.

9. General population data show circumcision to be associated with higher rates of HIV in many countries around the world. In Zimbabwe, where a mass circumcision campaign is in full swing, recent government statistics showed an HIV prevalence of 12% in intact men and 14% in circumcised men.



  1. I would go even further and predicate:

    Circumcised men are more likely to refuse the most effective HIV protection, wearing a condom, due to their keratinized and de-senitized glans. They usually feel much less with a condom than their intact colleagues and this unfortunately will get even worse with age...

    Catholic missionaries already did enough damage in Africa by demonizing condoms. Circumcision reduces sensations and therefore makes condoms even less attractive.Combined with the false promise of 60% risk reduction this situation will certainly lead to MORE unprotected sex.

    Women are more likely getting vaginal abrasions during intercourse. A circumcised keratinized penis is much rougher than an intact one with its natural moist glans and foreskin protecting the women from excessive friction.

    Last but not least let's not forget the economic reality. If you are piss poor and have received a free circumcision that allegedly reduces your HIV risk by 60%, which one would you rather doing without, a pack of condoms or food?