Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Circumcision and HIV/AIDS - Is the link really that relevant?

If I see one more article suggesting that all infant boys should be circumcised so as to reduce their chances of getting HIV/AIDS, I am going to scream.  Honestly, think about this one people.  Circumcision is an excruciatingly painful procedure for most babies who undergo it (no, the EMLA cream does not work and most parents don't bother asking for the penile block).  Moreover, the procedure removes a tissue containing something like ten thousand nerve endings, reducing sexual pleasure by thirty to fifty percent. 

As for those studies that conclude that it reduces transmission of STDs such as HIV, I urge you to read more about them.  Their conclusions are of questionable value, both in terms of the sample size of the men who did end up getting HIV and in terms of their applicability to North America and Europe.

But let's just say that circumcision really will reduce your boy's chances of getting HIV in the future.  Please ask yourself this before you have anyone mutilate his penis:

Would you have your baby girl circumcised for the same reason? 

Seriously, if it could be shown that circumcising your baby daughter would reduce of her chances of getting or transmitting HIV in the future, would you have her circumcised?  Because the pain is the same or worse for a boy and, as with female circumcision, removing your son's foreskin will deprive him of a great source of pleasure in the future.


consult4 said...

I agree,I am sick of all the media hype and falsehoods pushing circumcision for this or that. This crap has been going on for over a century and NONE of the claims made for circumcision have ever been credible and none have ever been seen in the real world--so give me a break and stop pushing a harmful and risky procedure!