March 29, 2007

WHO: cut hets, not gays

A long proposed policy of recommending circumcision among men in sub-Saharan Africa to "lower the rates of HIV infection risk" is now on the cards of being formally recommended policy because
"Three African trials have shown that circumcision halved the rate of HIV infection in heterosexual men."
Only halve? So it's still a huge leap of faith to base public health policy on a set of guidelines, starting with the deliberate mutilation of males, followed by all the necessary standard practices of safer sex (condom use, delayed sexual activity and partner number reduction) that the cut male has to apply too. Never mind that all those precautions are sufficient for the intact male to use to prevent getting infected.
So I don't really see any need for circumcision, a medical intervention usually not practiced in the best hygienic circumstances in a tropical African village. I don't think we need to add to the African infant mortality rate, do we?
How it would protect women is a big question too. Will they feel safer when approached by a cut male? You have to be pretty stupid to think you're not at risk when you can't see a foreskin.
And how many condom packs would a circumcision operation buy?

I've blogged about this before, and I haven't changed my mind one bit.

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