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Posted by on Dec 14, 2006 in At TMV | 11 comments

Men Who Are Circumcised Face Lower HIV Risk

There’s an old joke:

Moses talking to God: “Now wait, let me get this straight. We’re ‘the chosen people’…. and you want us to cut off the tips of our WHAT??!”

But circumcisions are now proven to have some medical benefits, so no more cutting remarks about the original snip and tuck jobs:

Circumcising men cuts their risk of being infected with the AIDS virus in half, and could prevent hundreds of thousands or even millions of new infections, researchers said on Wednesday.

Circumcising men worked so well that the researchers stopped two large clinical trials in Kenya and Uganda to announce the results, although they cautioned that the procedure does not make men immune to the virus.

Public health leaders hailed the results as pointing to a potentially powerful way to reduce HIV infections in Africa, the continent hardest hit by AIDS.

“It does have the potential to prevent many tens of thousands, many hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of infections over coming years,” Dr. Kevin De Cock, director of the World Health Organization’s Department of HIV/AIDS, told reporters.

A U.S. National Institutes of Health study in Kisumu, Kenya, involving 2,784 men aged 18 to 24 showed a 53 percent reduction of HIV infections in circumcised men compared to uncircumcised men. A parallel study involving 4,996 men aged 15 to 49 in Rakai, Uganda, showed circumcised men were 48 percent less likely than uncircumcised men to become infected.

In the Jewish religion, the person who does the circumcision is a mohel, a very serious undertaking done by serious, learned people. And, of course, it has been the butt (or a bit higher than that) of various jokes (such as the last lame one):

Why did the mohel retire? Because he just couldn’t cut it anymore.

A mohel doesn’t charge a fee. He works for tips.

You can even buy some funny shirts.

But circumcision has been a highly serious — and highly controversial — topic, particularly heading into the 21st century.

Some readings 4 U:
The circumcision decision
Pro & Con Infant Circumsision (writer is against it)
Sex Files: The Pro-Circumcision Argument
Google web search circumcision
MALE CIRCUMCISION a Jewish perspective
Religious Cirumcision (opposes it)
Circumcision Fact Sheet

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