Circumcision – A new AIDS preventative measure?
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the excess skin that covers the glans of a penis. This surgery is typically done within hours or days of a male child’s birth. The proceedure is usually carried out in the hospital by the OBGYN staff. If the child is Jewish and his parents are observant of the Covenant, the child will be circumcised 8 days after his birth in a proceedure called a Bris. There have been many reasons given over the past millenia of why a circumcision should or shouldn’t happen ranging from cleanliness to religion. One thing is for sure, it is always shrowded in controversy and even has caused problems between the parents of the child because one thinks they should do it and one doesn’t.
No matter where you stand on this issue, you should always take things into consideration. Consider a recent New York Times article that reported that circumcision has demonstrated, through admittedly incomplete tests, to be a powerful preventative measure in regards to the HIV/AIDS virus. It is suggested that there could be a drop in transmission in a woman by 30% and in men by 2/3. To quote the article “A 2002 USAID analysys reviewing 28 studies suggested a 50% reduction in infections among circumcised men. A French government study in South Africa suggested a two thirds reduction. A WHO study involving 8,000 people in Kenya and Uganda is currently underway, with preliminary results as early as June.”
However controversial this study may be, it does beg to question the standard M.O. of the community. Just because this is controversial does not mean that it shouldn’t be further looked into. It doesn’t matter where you stand on the proceedure called “barbaric, multilative, and unneccessary”, what does matter is that every option is considered when combating this vicious virus.
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