Male circumcision and HIV

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Male circumcision and HIV
18
Wed, 06-09-2010 - 8:10pm

I'm sure it's been discussed here many times before, but I just got into an online debate with a female friend of mine about male circumcision.

She said that there's possible less risk of infection and it's easier to clean. I responded with that the inner prepuce has self-cleaning bacteria. I started talking about complications like loss of sensitivity, keratinization of the glans, and potential death from blood loss in newborns. I compared it to the removal of the clitoral hood and she said it was a poor comparison, and I said it's the same because they perform the same function. She retorted that it's not really something to get up in arms about compared to a lot of other wrongs in the world, and the information I posted on the death from blood loss (which was posted here) was unreliable because it wasn't a conclusion from a peer reviewed medical journal and it is susceptible to bias. I was like okay, but that doesn't resolve the aspect of the infant's rights. She then sent me stuff about HIV infection rates from studies from Uganda. Which was hard for me to read because it had a lot of statistical jargon in it and I can't decipher that stuff like she can. I responded that it may be more relevant to countries with HIV problems, but not the US, which HIV infection has more to do with male-to-male sex and IV drugs than male-to-female sex. I also asked her (supposing that it was true) how that's a strong argument for RIC since children aren't out having sex, and I doubt hetero adolescent sex is a big demographic for HIV transmission in this country. We said more, but that was the meat of the debate. She concluded that she's not very pro or anti, and would probably leave the decision up to her husband if she had a son, since she doesn't have a penis.

My question to you guys are, what is your opinion of the African studies (or any studies for that matter) that have shown lowered rates of HIV infection with circumcised men compared to uncircumcised men? I'm sure you've guys have addressed this before, but I haven't been around here for too long. I have a hard time understanding a lot of the studies.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2007
Wed, 06-09-2010 - 9:56pm

Someone else will probably be better at answering your question, but I have a strong reaction to this:

"would probably leave the decision up to her husband if she had a son, since she doesn't have a penis."

I am getting SO TIRED of hearing this. I think the more I hear this the angrier I get. A father has *a* penis, not *his son's* penis, and if he was circumcised as an infant, he knows no more about the difference in experience between a circumcised and intact penis than the mother does.

The presence lack of a penis has *nothing* to do with whether a person has a say in protecting her child from unnecessary, harmful, choice-eliminating genital surgery.



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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2006
Wed, 06-09-2010 - 10:28pm

I'm not real good with the studies either but I know there are others on here who have some very good information to show just how flawed and biased those HIV studies were.

2010 Siggy
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2006
Wed, 06-09-2010 - 10:33pm

<>


I am right there with you.

2010 Siggy
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2008
Wed, 06-09-2010 - 10:55pm

I think you handled it just fine from what you've said. Basically there were studies from third world countries (all in Africa) that showed a slightly lower risk. But there were numerous potential problems with them however that hasn't stopped the powers that be from acting on them.

Even if they are correct the issue you raise of HIV prevalence and transmission is important. Here are two documents that discuss it, one directly one indirectly. Feel free to share them.

http://www.afao.org.au/library_docs/policy/BP09_Circumcision.pdf

http://knmg.artsennet.nl/web/file?uuid=579e836d-ea83-410f-9889-feb7eda87cd5&owner=a8a9ce0e-f42b-47a5-960e-be08025b7b04&contentid=77976

Both of these are from medical authorities so they should be fine for her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2009
Wed, 06-09-2010 - 11:04pm

Briefly Mark...


Yes, we have discussed this before!


1. The African studies were not only flawed but also incomplete. AND they began in a part of the world where poor sanitation and cultural habit meant STDs were/are rife. Even in South Africa today , statistics state that three children are raped every hour, girls and boys - and that's only the reported cases. Can the same be said of America or the UK?


2. The study results


CL - Circumcision Debate


"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Wed, 06-09-2010 - 11:36pm

"Did you notice, assuming Mark's account of the conversation is chronological, that his friend didn't throw that comment out until the end of the conversation? Cop-out."

It's chronological, but she said it at the beginning as well. Maybe I should've mentioned that.




Edited 6/9/2010 11:38 pm ET by markh85
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2009
Wed, 06-09-2010 - 11:46pm

Caitlynroe,


"I am getting SO TIRED of hearing this. I think the more I hear this the angrier I get. A father has *a* penis, not *his son's* penis, and if he was circumcised as an infant, he knows no more about the difference in experience between a circumcised and intact penis than the mother does."


We are all as tired of hearing this as you are! But it's one of


CL - Circumcision Debate


"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Thu, 06-10-2010 - 11:58am

"I am getting SO TIRED of hearing this. I think the more I hear this the angrier I get. A father has *a* penis, not *his son's* penis, and if he was circumcised as an infant, he knows no more about the difference in experience between a circumcised and intact penis than the mother does. "

And if the mother has done any reading up on what foreskins are and do, she'll know MORE than the "penis owner" whose ignorant judgement she's copping out to.

(disclaimer for fathers who've done some research)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Thu, 06-10-2010 - 12:00pm

Mark, search the board for "franklyspeaking" and "African" or "HIV".

He's posted some very well researched rebuttals to those claims.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Thu, 06-10-2010 - 3:21pm

Mark, the first link takes you to a rather long but accurate history of false claims including the HIV fraudulent research. The only group not mentioned by name is the religious influence. Keep in mind there has been a group of traveling Mohels in Africa pushing and performing circumcision and have offered their services in America so come to your own conclusion.

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