US to circumcise all boys to fight HIV?

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by I-G, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    US to circumcise all boys to fight HIV?
    Roni Caryn Rabin, NYT News Service 25 August 2009, 12:29am IST
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    Public health officials are considering promoting routine circumcision for all baby boys born in the United States to reduce the spread of HIV, the
    virus that causes AIDS.

    The topic is a delicate one that has already generated controversy, even though a formal draft of the proposed recommendations, due out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by the end of the year, has yet to be released.

    Experts are also considering whether the surgery should be offered to adult heterosexual men whose sexual practices put them at high risk of infection. But they acknowledge that a circumcision drive in the US would be unlikely to have a drastic impact: the procedure does not seem to protect those at greatest risk here, men who have sex with men.
    Recently, studies showed that in African countries hit hard by AIDS, men who were circumcised reduced their infection risk by half. But the clinical trials in Africa focused on heterosexual men who are at risk of getting HIV from infected female partners.

    For now, the focus of public health officials in this country appears to be on making recommendations for newborns, a prevention strategy that would only pay off many years from now. Critics say it subjects baby boys to medically unnecessary surgery without their consent.

    But Peter Kilmarx, chief of epidemiology for division of HIV/AIDS prevention at CDC, said any step that could thwart the spread of HIV must be given serious consideration. “We have a significant HIV epidemic in US, and we really need to look carefully at any potential intervention that could be another tool in the toolbox we use to address the epidemic,” Kilmarx said.

    US to circumcise all boys to fight HIV? - US - World - NEWS - The Times of India
     
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  3. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    What a ridiculous concept. Circumcision has no health benefits, and whatever tiny advantage it may have in terms of fighting HIV, can easily be outdone by using contraception, which is the only sure-shot method of preventing the spread of the disease.

    This seems to be just another way of placating the religious establishment in the US who are opposed to condom usage.
     
  4. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    I wasnt aware that religious establishment in USA oppose condom usage .


    Recently, studies showed that in African countries hit hard by AIDS, men who were circumcised reduced their infection risk by half
     
  5. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    Philippines goes after men in closet in AIDS fight
    2009-08-26 02:18:33 GMT2009-08-26 10:18:33 (Beijing Time) xinhuanet

    MANILA, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine health authorities are shifting their focus in the HIV/AIDS fight from openly gay to straight men as unprotected sex among men was blamed for a spike in the HIV infection in the country.

    The Department of Health has launched a three-month survey to determine the scale and behavior trends of men who have sex with men before working out mitigation strategies, local newspapers reported Wednesday.

    "It's not about gays," the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted Eric Taytag, chief of the National Epidemiology Center, as saying. "The problem is they are a hidden population, they are not open."

    Gays, lesbians and trans-genders are much tolerated in the Philippines, compared with other conservative Asian countries. But the condom usage remains way below the average due to the influence of the powerful Catholic Church and limited supplies in the market.

    The health authorities recorded 432 HIV/AIDS cases in the first seven months of the year. The infection particularly surged in July -- 70 cases -- with bisexual contact as the most pre-dominant type of sexual transmission.

    "We'll test our hypothesis that men having sex with men is becoming a sexual norm," Taytay said.

    HIV jumps from human to human mainly through sex intercourse, drugs injection, and pre-natal transmission (mother infecting baby during pregnancy). Nearly 90 percent of the Filipinos living with HIV/AIDS got infected through sex intercourse.

    Philippines goes after men in closet in AIDS fight - World News - SINA English
     
  6. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    The real article from New york times .

    Officials Weigh Circumcision to Fight H.I.V. Risk
    By RONI CARYN RABIN
    Published: August 23, 2009
    Public health officials are considering promoting routine circumcision for all baby boys born in the United States to reduce the spread of H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS.

    The topic is a delicate one that has already generated controversy, even though a formal draft of the proposed recommendations, due out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by the end of the year, has yet to be released.

    Experts are also considering whether the surgery should be offered to adult heterosexual men whose sexual practices put them at high risk of infection. But they acknowledge that a circumcision drive in the United States would be unlikely to have a drastic impact: the procedure does not seem to protect those at greatest risk here, men who have sex with men.

    Recently, studies showed that in African countries hit hard by AIDS, men who were circumcised reduced their infection risk by half. But the clinical trials in Africa focused on heterosexual men who are at risk of getting H.I.V. from infected female partners.

    For now, the focus of public health officials in this country appears to be on making recommendations for newborns, a prevention strategy that would only pay off many years from now. Critics say it subjects baby boys to medically unnecessary surgery without their consent.

    But Dr. Peter Kilmarx, chief of epidemiology for the division of H.I.V./AIDS prevention at the C.D.C., said that any step that could thwart the spread of H.I.V. must be given serious consideration.

    “We have a significant H.I.V. epidemic in this country, and we really need to look carefully at any potential intervention that could be another tool in the toolbox we use to address the epidemic,” Dr. Kilmarx said. “What we’ve heard from our consultants is that there would be a benefit for infants from infant circumcision, and that the benefits outweigh the risks.”

    He and other experts acknowledged that although the clinical trials of circumcision in Africa had dramatic results, the effects of circumcision in the United States were likely to be more muted because the disease is less prevalent here, because it spreads through different routes and because the health systems are so disparate as to be incomparable.

    Clinical trials in Kenya, South Africa and Uganda found that heterosexual men who were circumcised were up to 60 percent less likely to become infected with H.I.V. over the course of the trials than those who were not circumcised.

    There is little to no evidence that circumcision protects men who have sex with men from infection.

    Another reason circumcision would have less of an impact in the United States is that some 79 percent of adult American men are already circumcised, public health officials say.

    But newborn circumcision rates have dropped in recent decades, to about 65 percent of newborns in 1999 from a high of about 80 percent after World War II, according to C.D.C. figures. And blacks and Hispanics, who have been affected disproportionately by AIDS, are less likely than whites to circumcise their baby boys, according to the agency.

    Circumcision rates have fallen in part because the American Academy of Pediatrics, which sets the guidelines for infant care, does not endorse routine circumcision. Its policy says that circumcision is “not essential to the child’s current well-being,” and as a result, many state Medicaid programs do not cover the operation.

    The academy is revising its guidelines, however, and is likely to do away with the neutral tone in favor of a more encouraging policy stating that circumcision has health benefits even beyond H.I.V. prevention, like reducing urinary tract infections for baby boys, said Dr. Michael Brady, a consultant to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

    He said the academy would probably stop short of recommending routine surgery, however. “We do have evidence to suggest there are health benefits, and families should be given an opportunity to know what they are,” he said. But, he said, the value of circumcision for H.I.V. protection in the United States is difficult to assess, adding, “Our biggest struggle is trying to figure out how to understand the true value for Americans.”

    Circumcision will be discussed this week at the C.D.C.’s National H.I.V. Prevention Conference in Atlanta, which will be attended by thousands of health professionals and H.I.V. service providers.

    Among the speakers is a physician from Operation Abraham, an organization based in Israel and named after the biblical figure who was circumcised at an advanced age, according to the book of Genesis. The group trains doctors in Africa to perform circumcisions on adult men to reduce the spread of H.I.V.

    Members of Intact America, a group that opposes newborn circumcision, have rented mobile billboards that will drive around Atlanta carrying their message that “circumcising babies doesn’t prevent H.I.V.,” said Georganne Chapin, who leads the organization.

    Although the group’s members oppose circumcision on broad philosophical and medical grounds, Ms. Chapin argued that the studies in Africa found only that circumcision reduces H.I.V. infection risk, not that it prevents infection. “Men still need to use condoms,” Ms. Chapin said.

    In fact, while the clinical trials in Africa found that circumcision reduced the risk of a man’s acquiring H.I.V., it was not clear whether it would reduce the risk to women from an infected man, several experts said.

    “There’s mixed data on that,” Dr. Kilmarx said. But, he said, “If we have a partially successful intervention for men, it will ultimately lower the prevalence of H.I.V. in the population, and ultimately lower the risk to women.”

    Circumcision is believed to protect men from infection with H.I.V. because the mucosal tissue of the foreskin is more susceptible to H.I.V. and can be an entry portal for the virus. Observational studies have found that uncircumcised men have higher rates of other sexually transmitted diseases like herpes and syphilis, and a recent study in Baltimore found that heterosexual men were less likely to have become infected with H.I.V. from infected partners if they were circumcised.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/24/health/policy/24circumcision.html?_r=1
     
  7. rocky

    rocky New Member

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    Classic case of barking up the wrong tree. First of all science is yet to explain what exactly is the benefit of circumsition and how it really protects from HIV infection (the mechanics) all they are using as justification is a flimsy study done in Africa which is no more than a general survey with little or sketchy details available to public. Medican science after saying for over 150 years that appendix was a useless organ is now finding out that it is beneficial. I firmly beleive that every part of our body has a function and there is absolutely no need to mutilate our bodies these same set of researchers will come back in next few years saying that there are so many health benefits in having a foreskin. So it is better to just ignore such directives. The only way to protect from HIV is to practice safe sex and nothing else.
     
  8. ahmedsid

    ahmedsid Top Gun Senior Member

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    The Jews and The Muslims are the only people going to grin about this ;)

    But Seriously, i would like to know, what makes a circumcised male organ fight off AIDS!
     

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