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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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Copyright 2006 The Moderate Voice
  • Gray62

    Now, reducing HIV risk is important, Joe, but I don’t think this info will lead to a new trend towards circumcision. Don’t forget the deadly risk of being mistaken in the (impropababla, sure) situation that you fall into the hands of terrorists (I’m serious on this, but maybe I watch too many Hollywood thrillers).

    However, the only guy I know who deliberately chose circumcision, as an adult, did this because he wanted to reduce the, uh, excitement…

    He was pleased with the results. He said, it eliminated his, hmm, ‘Fast Eddie’ problem…

  • lmao Gray!

  • You know he’s got a lot of chutzpah
    He’s really quite ch-hip
    The parents pay the mohel
    And he gets to keep the tip!

    “Weird Al” Yankovic, “Pretty Fly for a Rabbi”

  • C Stanley

    “It won’t be long now,” said the mohel as he circumcised the little boy.

  • Krous

    Stop it! This a serious issue! Somebody’s pecker is going to be cut short! Get a grip!

  • Joe

    C Stanley gets a GOLD MEDAL for a joke that I loved. I have to hire YOU to write for my show!!

  • C Stanley

    LOL, glad you liked it Joe but it wasn’t original: I’ve heard it before somewhere but I don’t know the source.

  • SurgeJack

    God, don’t you fellows do any research? Christian Science groups have been in Africa pulling the same business, but they’ve made sure to say in their research that it is not circumcision itself that stops HIV. It is that men who are not circumcised, in Africa, are less likely to take the time to clean as properly as they should and thusly develop severe hygeine and medical problems.

  • C Stanley

    I have read that what you are saying is accurate, but I just went off on the humor angle on this post instead of looking at what they were saying. I did think about another aspect to this though: am I the only one who thinks it’s not a great idea to promote the concept that circumcision makes it less likely to contract the AIDS virus (not even considering for the sake of my point whether or not that is true), if it were only to protect 50% of the time? Wouldn’t people tend to hear only part of that and assume that they are “safer” and thus neglect to use condoms in high risk situations?

  • C Stanley,

    Of course people are going to ignore the 50% reality. The news reports and blog commentary is already ignoring the adult part of the studies. Why would the 50% be any different?

    – Tony

  • C Stanley

    My thoughts exactly.

    And I’m glad I took another look at the story to examine the more serious side to it, because I also then caught another humourous angle. Did anyone note this guy’s name?:

    “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.


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