Why Circumcision Lowers Risk of HIV

Promising trials hinted that circumcision could lower rates of HIV infection, but until now, researchers didn’t fully understand why

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Promising trials hinted that circumcision could lower rates of HIV infection, but until now, researchers didn’t fully understand why.

Now, in a study published in the journal mBio, scientists say that changes in the population of bacteria living on and around the penis may be partly responsible.

Relying on the latest technology that make sequencing the genes of organisms faster and more accessible, Lance Price of the Translational Genomics Research institute (TGen) and his colleagues conducted a detailed genetic analysis of the microbial inhabitants of the penis among a group of Ugandan men who provided samples before circumcision and again a year later.

(MORE:  If Circumcision Rates Keep Falling, Health Costs and Infections Will Spike)

While the men showed similar communities of microbes before the operation, 12 months later, the circumcised men harbored dramatically fewer bacteria that survive in low oxygen conditions. They also had 81% less bacteria overall compared to the uncircumcised men, and that could have a dramatic effect on the men’s ability to fight off infections like HIV, says Price. Previous studies showed that circumcised men lowered their risk of transmitting HIV by as much as 50%, making the operation an important tool in preventing infection with the virus. Why? A high burden of bacteria could disrupt the ability of specialized immune cells known as Langerhans cells to activate immune defenses. Normally, Langerhans are responsible for grabbing invading microbes like bacteria or viruses and presenting them to immune cells for training, to prime the body to recognize and react against the pathogens. But when the bacterial load increases, as it does in the uncircumcised penile environment, inflammatory reactions increase and these cells actually start to infect healthy cells with the offending microbe rather than merely present them.

(MORE: Can New Circumcision Devices Help Fight AIDS in Africa?)

That may be why uncircumcised men are more likely to transmit HIV than men without the foreskin, says Price, since the Langerhans cells could be feeding HIV directly to healthy cells. His group is also investigating how changes in the levels of cytokines, which are the signaling molecules that immune cells use to communicate with each other, might be influenced by bacterial populations.

“There is a real revolution going on in our understanding of the microbiome,” says Price, who is also professor of occupational and environmental health at George Washington University. “The microbiome is almost like another organ system, and we are just scratching the surface of understanding the interplay between the microbiome and the immune system.”

Previous work suggested that changes in the bacterial populations in the gut, for example, could affect obesity, and other studies found potential connections between microbial communities and the risk for cancer, asthma and other chronic conditions.

MORE: Study Identifies Four New Genetic Markers For Severe Childhood Obesity

124 comments
Agendum
Agendum

You still have to wear a condom silly people. Circumcision does not make you immune to HIV nor does it prevent wet dreams or spinal paralysis. The HIV claim is just another desperate attempt to justify an outdated ritualistic tribal practice as these excuses have been following another for the last two centuries.

Too bad no one sees that this is just an attempt to grab children's' valuable tissues for other biotech reasons, so called medical "wa$te."

wjohnatty
wjohnatty

Western Medicine is not science in the same way that particle physics, bio chemistry or astronomy is a science. Today medicine cannot tell us whether eggs, bacon and steak is causing us to become ill. And it appears that everything that we were told about heart disease and diabetes over the past several decades is going to be put in trash. Then there's psychiatry that has its host of issues most of which is that its basically unscientific from its diagnosis, its etiology to its treatment (most psychiatric drugs use the placebo effect).


I dont buy what the AAP is saying about circumcision and its benefits the same way i would reject the idea that if you sew up a girl's vagina it will certainly reduce the risk of cancers and HIV. Circumcision is morally wrong and to say it isn't is corruption of the highest order that the US and the UN is participating in the 21st century. We know why US authorities has to support circumcision, and hence why the UN is pushing it. Just dont call it science.

abqdan
abqdan

So we'll circumcise babies because when they become adults, they might have unprotected sex with another adult who whas HIV? That's ludicrous. The only protection against HIV infection is consistent use of condoms when having sex with multiple partners. The WHO failed to sell the idea of condoms in Africa, so now they are trying to sell the kits required for infant circumcision. 


When the penis is cared for properly, there is no increased risk. Take a look at the HIV rates in the US and other western countries where circumcision is uncommon. There is actually a HIGHER transmission rate in the US, despite the high circumcision rate.

cameradulce
cameradulce

The answer is simple people, but the problem "why" you don't understand is your ignorance. (Sorry for that)

You may ask WTF?

Islam says: A BOY MUST BE CIRCUMCISED. (A word from QURAN is only for the good favor for us).
You can see that circumcion prevents hiv, and too many STD's.

Everything is in that book has a reason WHY. But science is confirming the question "WHY?".

I'm a muslim (proud to be) and thanks to this fact, I am circumcised male. 


People, every development that was done is a confirmation from the QURAN (google some proofs: ex. how the baby is created from semen,,the sea's watter never mix, circumcion and hiv, and too too many other facts)

People start reading the QURAN with your heart and you'll understand the truth. Make it to save your self not mine.


Allah bless you!  SALAM!

Queen
Queen

I just - as a woman - would like to agree with those who say that uncircumcised men smell no matter what. They do! I would never go back to an uncircumcised man again! I have tried a couple of both... Also, if you have ever lived in a warm area you know how boarding school boys have problems with their hygiene if they are not circumcised. Some even get maggots! Yes, maggots down there..... EW! Have heard enough personal experiences about that. It has been proven that it helps reduce the risk of HIV with up to 60% and other STDs as well. Worth considering, especially in certain countries. However, in Africa most are not circumcised as infants but as young teens. Many are rather proud of it! Some say the penis gland becomes less sensitive after circumcision - with the circumcised men I have been together with, I have the opposite impression for sure. Maybe because they were not circumcised as infants - I don't know.

Foreskin is not a mucus membrane - it's just skin! About the religious or cultural importance of this, I will not even begin to explain.

@HayleyDawnKolarik

RodaBlize1
RodaBlize1

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killer.nate
killer.nate

Please consider my thoughts on this issue:  They forgot to mention that circumcision is extremely painful and that such an excruciating experience to a little baby will physiologically affect that person for the rest of their life.   Circumcision is a lose/lose for those it's forced upon.  Even if the person grows up and is completely okay with their circumcision, they will live in denial, and express their unknown frustrations in ways that we as a society don't even understand yet....   If they are not okay with their circumcision, well then they still have to live in frustration because they know something was taken from them that they will never fully gain back. Circumcision never wins,  if someone (an adult) wants to be circumcised then go right ahead and let them.  But babies never want to be circumcised, they never have and never will want to be circumcised.

lawrencenewman110379
lawrencenewman110379

The only way circumcision reduced my chance of contracting HIV was by destroying my sexual sensitivity completely, so I ended up opting out of sex because I simply cannot derive any pleasure from it.   I have no idea why so many people want to defend this genital mutilation which is EXACTLY THE SAME AS FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION.  


You'd have to be a moron to believe that circumcision reduces the risk of STDs.  The only reliable way to assess this would be to create a control experiment with two groups of people under observation who have sex with HIV-infected people at measured time intervals.  There are far too many confounding variables to draw any conclusions from these methodologically flawed studies.  It's simply another excuse that the pro-circ rapists and paedophiles are using to justify what is sexual assault. 


My parents and I were duped by the National Health Service in the UK when I was 14.  We were told I needed a circumcision due to a tight foreskin. I subsequently found out that circumcision is never necessary for a tight foreskin, and in fact there is not one justifiable reason for the practice. I, nor my parents, provided informed consent, as we were never told that it would destroy all my erogenous tissue, anaesthetise my penis and thus remove all sexual pleasure from me for life.   


I'm suicidal because of what they did to me.  IF you support circumcision, you are a rape advocate, plain and simple. 



anonnymousa
anonnymousa

greater is in Dr Osemen than in those that condemn Dr Osemen and doubt his powers, i tested HIV POSITIVE when i contacted him for help, but after taking his herbal medicine for two weeks behold all my pains were gone now i am now HIV NEGATIVE. doubt him not so that you will he cure from the deadly disease.contact him for HIV cure on his email address: healinghomeofallsickness@outlook.com he that help me shall also help you. please sir keep your good work cause there are a lot of people out there that will need your help.once more i say a very BIG THANKS to you for curing me.BENARD

BradGrant
BradGrant

Asia has low rates of circumcision and low rates of HIV. Explain? Do it now.

BradGrant
BradGrant

What did I just read? This isn't science.

NigelOswyn
NigelOswyn

What else can one expect from a "news" magazine owned by a people who use it as a means to validate the scars on their genitals?  If they suddenly realised their centuries old crime of male infant genital cutting, they would have to own up to the fact that they are nothing more than promoters of child abuse.  They have to find excuses to keep cutting in order to make cutting okay in their superstitious minds.

Eighty five percent of males internationally are intact and not queuing up to have their bits altered.  They are not complaining, and neither are their partners.  The time is long overdue for men to take back their bodies and end the cycle of abuse that male genital mutilation, euphemistically known as "circumcision," is.  Men have the right to grow up with intact genitals and decide how they want to prevent HIV, even if this pseudo science were true.  How many people conducting these so called "studies" have scars on their genitals?  Are they willing to offer themselves up for cutting if any of them are intact?  I doubt it.

HayleyDawnKolarik
HayleyDawnKolarik

Infant Circumcision- why you think it's done: 

1. God wants it done. FALSE. "God made you perfect and in his image." God wouldn't give it to us if he didn't want us to have it. Disfiguring the body is prohibited in many religions including Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. 

2. Foreskin serves no purpose. FALSE. Millions of years of evolution have given foreskin to every man and most mammals. Evolution doesn't make mistakes like that.

3. Babies don't feel pain. ARE YOU RETARDED? Babies feel pain more intensely than adults. 

4. Babies won't remember. YES AND NO. 'Repressed memory' is a more appropriate description: and some do remember. 

5. Circumcision reduces risk of std's. FALSE It INCREASES the risk. Foreskin is a mucus membrane. Mucus TRAPS pathogens - it HELPS prevent disease. 

6. For hygiene. MAKES NO SENSE. How lazy can you possibly be? Taking care of a bloody wound in a diaper is easier? What else shall we amputate to stay clean - perhaps the labia? 

7. A deluge of other equally random and ridiculous excuses. -Circumcision has probably had more claims of benefit than any other medical procedure in history: that alone should tell you something. 

Infant Circumcision - Why it's actually done: 

1. Infants cannot defend themselves. - How many sane men would submit to cutting off healthy bits of themselves (some of the most sensitive bits no less..) for no benefit and without painkillers? 

2. The circumcision room is one of the most profitable areas in a ho$pital. 

3. Shame / Guilt / Maintaining an image / Stockholm syndrome. - It is easier to maintain a lie, than to admit having done harm to your child (or one of your parents having done harm to you).

NancyWyatt
NancyWyatt

So tell me this... IF circumcision does reduce STD's & more specifically HIV, then why does the United States have the highest rates of HIV in the entire industrial world and ALSO  has the highest rates of Routine Infant Circumcision of all industrial nations as well?    Empirical data belies these studies.  Not to mention what you're not reporting.. in 10 out of the 18 Countries where these "studies" were performed their HIV are rising.  Finally.. since when are BABIES having sex?  Routine mastectomy would dramatically lower breast cancer rates yet there have been no "studies" on it nor is anyone reporting on it.  Why is that?


aliberaldoseofskepticism
aliberaldoseofskepticism

I'm pretty sure there are only three studies suggesting circumcision lowers the risk of HIV infection, one from Kenya, one from South Africa, and one from Uganda. The link in those studies isn't statistically significant. (None has an odds ratio less than 0.33 or greater than 3.0. The study with the best results, the one from South Africa, has an odds ratio of 0.4.)

The biggest issue is that circumcised men might decide they don't need no stinkin' condoms. It's even being marketed as a "natural condom". (Be very wary of anyone who says "natural".) Condoms, unlike circumcision, have an odds ratio of 0.02, which is well above the aforementioned threshold, which is statistically significant.

EvanSentient
EvanSentient

Whether or not a man is circumcised, he still has to wear condoms during sex in order to prevent HIV. Education, not amputation! This is just another excuse by the pro-cutting industry manufactured to try to justify the human rights violation known as male circumcision. This was forced on me as an infant and I resent those that did it to me, and those that would be willing to rip their own male children away from their whole anatomy. Shame on you Time for propagating this disinformation!

alejoperez
alejoperez

@Queen  Hygiene is key, both in the male and female, a female organ "DOES SMELL IF LEFT UNWASHED"

FelixGarfield
FelixGarfield

@Queen  And I'm sure you always smell like a rose garden, Your Majesty. But since the penis is not a "gland" (do you mean "glans"?) and the inner lining of the foreskin does include a mucous (not "mucus") membrane, may I suggest you pick up an anatomy textbook before trying to "begin to explain" anything else to us.

wjohnatty
wjohnatty

@RodaBlize1  Seriously??? YOu are a teacher in the United Kingdom? What do you teach - African colloquial English?

cameradulce
cameradulce

@RodaBlize1  I know, people like you are there only to steal money.

Nobody is going to trust you. But please kid don't make those things here.


cameradulce
cameradulce

@killer.nate  You are wrong mon ami. I am circumcised from my age 10. And I never had any problem. You feel better when circumcised, even more protected. Trust me. This is an obligation for Islamic religion and it should be for every religion.


konyerer80
konyerer80

@killer.nate  I beg to differ with you. Circumcision does win and it is something good. I come from a tribe in Africa wherein children are circumcised. No child has ever died of it and no one lives to be traumatized. Men from my community are among the best on the continent. They are innovative, creative, productive, and adventurous. I think, there is something great about circumcision and would encourage the practice especially on infants. Come to think of it, a circumcised penis looks good and much easier to handle than an uncircumcised one.      

cameradulce
cameradulce

@lawrencenewman110379   

The answer is simple, but the problem "why" you don't understand is your ignorance. (Sorry for that)

You may ask WTF?

Islam says: A BOY MUST BE CIRCUMCISED. (A word from QURAN is only for the good favor for us).
You can see that circumcion prevents hiv, and too many STD's.

Everything is in that book has a reason WHY. But science is confirming the question "WHY?".

I'm a muslim (proud to be) and thanks to this fact, I am circumcised male. 


People, every development that was done is a confirmation from the QURAN (google some proofs: ex. how the baby is created from semen,,the sea's watter never mix, circumcion and hiv, and too too many other facts)

People start reading the QURAN with your heart and you'll understand the truth. Make it to save your self not mine.


Allah bless you!  SALAM!

thn1010
thn1010

@NigelOswyn 

 "Eighty five percent of males internationally are intact and not queuing up to have their bits altered."

- Misinformation as usual. The global circumcision rate is estimated to be as high as 37.4%, while WHO estimates 30%. Meaning every third male on this planet is circumcised. Your numbers are ridiculous even compared to anti-circumcision organizations, going through a few of them I found some claim of 20%  and that lacked any references.

cameradulce
cameradulce

@HayleyDawnKolarik   The answer is simple people, but the problem "why" you don't understand is your ignorance. (Sorry for that)

You may ask WTF?

Islam says: A BOY MUST BE CIRCUMCISED. (A word from QURAN is only for the good favor for us).
You can see that circumcion prevents hiv, and too many STD's.

Everything is in that book has a reason WHY. But science is confirming the question "WHY?".

I'm a muslim (proud to be) and thanks to this fact, I am circumcised male. 


People, every development that was done is a confirmation from the QURAN (google some proofs: ex. how the baby is created from semen,,the sea's watter never mix, circumcion and hiv, and too too many other facts)

People start reading the QURAN with your heart and you'll understand the truth. Make it to save your self not mine.


Allah bless you!  SALAM!

konyerer80
konyerer80

@HayleyDawnKolarik   I beg to differ with you. Circumcision is something good. I come from a tribe in Africa wherein infants are circumcised. It is a cultural practice that has and continues to serve the community. Men from my community are great and take good care of their women. I think, there is something great about circumcision and would encourage the practice especially on infants. Come to think of it, a circumcised penis looks good and much easier to handle than an uncircumcised one.     

NaomiSmith
NaomiSmith

@HayleyDawnKolarik  "1. God wants it done. FALSE. "God made you perfect and in his image." God wouldn't give it to us if he didn't want us to have it. Disfiguring the body is prohibited in many religions including Judaism, Islam, and Christianity."

From someone who obviously has no clue about Judaism. God made us in his image, and then made a sacred covenant with Abraham to circumcise themselves and their sons.

There is no possible way that I could ever get you to understand this, so I won't waste anyone's time any further.

FStevief
FStevief

@HayleyDawnKolarikFor hygiene. MAKES NO SENSE. How lazy can you possibly be?


You obviously haven't had much experience with uncircumcised men. They are very lazy and they always smell regardless of whether they say they are clean. They after all are use to the smell, the rest of us are not. And if the penny hasn't dropped yet I am circumcised and also gay, so I think I know what I am talking about...lol


thn1010
thn1010

@HayleyDawnKolarik  

Sorry, but in modern times repeating a falsehood over  & over won't make it the truth. It might have worked in the early 20th century, but not anymore. You basically just took all those topics and answered them the opposite of what research says. 

John57
John57

@NancyWyatt  

Oh man, once it's said on the Internet it becomes the "truth" no matter how many times it gets shown to be wrong:

HIV in the US is spread mainly through IV drug use and being anal receptive.  Circumcision obviously

won't help either of these groups of people.

John57
John57

@aliberaldoseofskepticism  

The AAP included 231 studies which showed reduced rate of STI's in circumcised me.

The 3 studies in Africa were peer reviewed, subjected to stringent meta-analysis and are considered valid

beyond any reasonable doubt by the AAP, the CDC, UNAIDS, WHO and Cochrane.

But of course you know better.

John57
John57

@AsherNewman  

Exactly!  It will be a sad day when bloggers and activists set the medical agenda rather than

medical professionals.

aliberaldoseofskepticism
aliberaldoseofskepticism

And Kary Mullis won a Nobel Prize, but I wouldn't trust him on AIDS, a disease he insists doesn't exist.

However, maybe some medical associations around the developed world can change your mind.

The WHO AIDS task force is run by Stephen Lewis, who insists anyone who suggests other options, such as condoms, is a "male sexist". Why does this water taste like almonds?

EvanSentient
EvanSentient

@AsherNewman They like to act like they know. Did you know that foreskin is a multi-billion dollar a year industry? Of course the WHO wants people to think this. That way they can steal the foreskins of African men, and sell them, returning a huge profit. Anytime you want to find the truth, follow the money.


Intactivists have nothing to gain by doing what they do. Pro-cutters and the WHO have millions of dollars to make in promoting their beliefs. It's pretty obvious who is telling the truth here.

cosmopolite
cosmopolite

@AsherNewman: the African clinical trials are a scientific train wreck in the making.  They were cut short in a way that makes it impossible to rule out risk compensation.

The theories described in the story above are not "well backed" but mere conjectures.

The links you supply are all based on press releases by a small number of primary investigators at Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Illinois-Chicago. These researchers have not made their data available. Their work suffers from grave methodological flaws, as argued here:

www.salem-news.com/fms/pdf/2011-12_JLM-Boyle-Hill.pdf

Many African men are saying "if I still have to use a condom, what's the point of this circumcision business?" Odds changers are tragically misleading, especially when there exist game changers, namely condoms or fidelity.

JonKe
JonKe

@AsherNewman you might as well flush those "studies" down the toilet, if jews, muslims, and africans want to cut up their gentials go head get this sick practice out of America

cosmopolite
cosmopolite

@thn1010 @NigelOswyn : No one has ever asked a careful stratified large random sample of men from around the world to down trousers and have their penises gently tugged on to determine circ status. Circ is also not a binary, but a continuum. Some men were circumcised but have a lot of foreskin left. Some men never went under the knife, but have short foreskins that leave the glans mostly or entirely exposed when they are flaccid.

So we will never know how many men around the world are circumcised. It is true that intact men in intact cultures seldom ask for circumcision unless WHO and UNAIDS bang the drum claiming that circumcised men are less likely to catch AIDS.

aliberaldoseofskepticism
aliberaldoseofskepticism

And a good number of those males are in sub-Saharan Africa. So why do we think circumcision lowers risk of HIV again, when it's quite common in regions of the world where HIV is most prevalent? And those males are eschewing condoms because they've been told by the World Health Organization that they don't need condoms because they have a "natural condom". (Oh, "natural", the biggest woo word on the planet.) And the ads promoting circumcision talk of "conquering" (as a caption below a picture of four women). You're promoting condomless promiscuity. I...can't go along with that.

Also, do we have any actual proof of this latest claim? I mean, circumcision advocates have claimed alternately that the foreskin has more (the most common party line) or fewer (Weiss, 1993) Langerhans cells. Can't be both. They continued this canard after it was proven that HIV breaks down inside the Langerhans cell due to the action of langerin (de Witte, 2003).

bwanadik
bwanadik

@NaomiSmith @HayleyDawnKolarik 


Actually, your statement  "God made us in his image, and then made a sacred covenant with Abraham to circumcise themselves and their sons" is  true only in the sense that it was written in a book of fables.  Circumcision is irreversible, and much more likely would be  is exactly the thing a conquering people (Egyptians) might do to an enslaved people (Jewish) for control of the enslaved.  It is relatively easy to spot a recalcitrant slave  when all you have to say is "Drop Trou".  It is sad that folks of the Jewish persuasion adopted this practice and incorporated it into their beliefs. 


On a funny note (a sad, pathetic, funny note), both Jews and Moslems practice circumcision.  The irony here is that one religion that generally despises the other,  adopted the same genital mutilating practice as the other.


I do understand:  Some god told Jewish folks to mutilate their men to prove themselves worthy.  And some very disturbed individuals said "Okay, you betcha" and the practice of mutilating little boys began.  Very few within Judaism can contemplate the "why" of circumcision.  To do so would require the acceptance of 3,000 years of idiocy, which would then call into question just how vindictive and vengeful the "God of Abraham"  is/was, which would then call into question the complete insanity of "believing in gods" actually is.

AdVictoriam1
AdVictoriam1

@NaomiSmith@HayleyDawnKolarik It was required as a mark for national acceptance in the 12 tribes. However the circumcision of 2,000 years ago is not analogous to modern day stretching and cutting of the foreskin. There was no bell or removal of tissue from the glans, and whatever the situation or circumstances were in an ancient time, where survival as a group was the primary concern, the advent of Christ and the New Covenant negated the practice as obsolete ('circumcision of the heart' for the Gentiles). 


cosmopolite
cosmopolite

@FStevief @HayleyDawnKolarik It is trivial to spend 20 second washing the tip of the penis before entering the bedroom.

To say that intact men are too lazy to clean themselves and therefore should have their bodies surgically altered, patronises men in general and intact men in particular. Dirty smelly men should be rebuked. But their existence is not a reason to remove the foreskin. Some women leave something to be desired in the vulva hygiene department. The conclusion is not the surgical removal of the labia minora, but making the bidet universal.

Many gay men value the erogenous properties of the foreskin. A gay man has told me that over the course of his lifetime, he has been intimate with more than 1000 partners, and that he has never encountered a man who was disgusting under the foreskin. If the foreskin is retractable, a daily shower suffices.

aliberaldoseofskepticism
aliberaldoseofskepticism

That's interesting. I shower every morning, before any romantic entanglement, and at the gym both before and after a workout. If anything, people think I'm OCD. I'm also not circumcised.

cosmopolite
cosmopolite

@thn1010 @HayleyDawnKolarik Publishing in peer reviewed journal + author wears a white lab coat = Always true?

Sorry, but that simplistic equation does not always hold.

aliberaldoseofskepticism
aliberaldoseofskepticism

My irony meter just exploded. But you're right. The foreskin isn't a mucous membrane. It's just skin.

cosmopolite
cosmopolite

@John57 @NancyWyatt : You are bearing out Ms Wyatt's point: the reality of HIV on the ground in the USA, is such that routine circ is unlikely to reduce the transmission of HIV in that country.

cosmopolite
cosmopolite

@John57 @aliberaldoseofskepticism : A small group of of mostly American names dominates circ-HIV thinking at the CDC, UNAIDS and WHO. The AAP merely repeated the conclusions of those bodies. Nobody on the AAP's circumcision Task Force was an epidemiologist.

The African RCT's were not subject to stringent meta-analysis. Europe and Australasia do not agree that the RCTs tells us anything about whether boys and men in the First World should be circumcised.

To my knowledge, all studies claiming that circumcised men are are less likely to contract this or that STD use subjects from the Third World, or from the urban underclass in the First World. Such studies are not relevant to the vast majority of readers of this thread.

John57
John57

@EvanSentient @AsherNewman  

Ah, yes, it's a conspiracy!  In case you haven't heard, there are new painless, bloodless circumcision

devices which make that nasty foreskin fall off and it's not usable for anything (as if it ever was!)

John57
John57

@cosmopolite @AsherNewman  

All of your arguments have been refuted.  But that doesn't stop you from still saying them.

To answer your question about condoms, why get vaccinated?  Vaccinations aren't 100% effective.

Neither are condoms BTW.  If one breaks, you're better of circ'd than not.

aliberaldoseofskepticism
aliberaldoseofskepticism

The South African one was rejected from the Lancet. But not just because of that: They didn't even tell men who tested positive that they were positive! Serious breach of ethics there.

AsherNewman
AsherNewman

pretty sure well respected universities and institutions are more reliable than a few studies that are clearly biased. He is part of an organization called doctors opposing circumsion, which clearly signifies that he is biased, and therefor most likely unreliable

AsherNewman
AsherNewman

   You seem to have a hatred of jews and muslims, maybe you should do more research on the religions. After all, ignorance often leads to intolerance. Besides, all of these studies regard well respected doctors an institutions, while you a a random person on the internet how clearly has little knowledge related to circumcision. You claim that it cuts of the genitals, while it only cuts of the foreskin. 

John57
John57

@AsherNewman  

 Asher, the anti-circ people are so biased against circumcision that no evidence,

no matter how compelling will convince them that they are wrong.

 They will always find something that they think supports what they believe.

 What's sad is that they're noisy and get a lot of unwarranted attention

and people start to believe them.

cosmopolite
cosmopolite

@AsherNewman : the only medical organisation that has concluded that the African clinical trials, conducted in Africa on subjects who were young adults, suggests that routine infant circumcision in the USA is advisable, is the AAP.

All that is claimed in Africa is that being circumcised lowers the probability that an ininfected man will acquire HIV and HPV from a single unprotected sexual encounter with an infected woman. This is useless; what if circumcised men engage in more unprotected sex? Look up "risk compensation" in Wikipedia. What if circumcised men are more reluctant to use comdoms?

In science, prestige carries no weight, only clear thinking. When it comes to the tip of the penis, the most sexual part of the male body, the typical American doctor either can't think straight, or can but is afraid to let it show.

aliberaldoseofskepticism
aliberaldoseofskepticism

None of the ones in Europe don't Nor does the RACP. Or the Cochrane group. Or, come to think of it, the AMA. So, what is your "reliable medical organization"?

AsherNewman
AsherNewman

Yes, but but nearly every reliable medical organization has believes that circumcision reduces the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. You have shown me one study supporting your point. If all of these prestigious organizations  show this, and you still don't trust them, I believe there is almost no way to convince you that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV. This will be my last response, since I am more worried about the economy and the worsening situation in Syria than this.

cosmopolite
cosmopolite

@AsherNewman : how do you propose to "prove" that anyone taking a side in this debate is unbiased? If you believe that being on the tenure track at the Bloomberg School at Johns Hopkins "proves" that one is unbiased, then I have a bridge to sell you. Most of the profs arguing that circumcision "protects" men from HIV and HPV, have coauthored with Brian Morris and Jake Waskett, notorious for their objectivity and common sense, and membership in the Gilgal Society. Morris have very strong views about the alleged prophylactic merits of circumcision, even though he is neither pediatrician nor urologist. He in fact is not even a doctor, and is laughably ignorant about human sexuality and the views of women.
Everyone is biased, a fact of life we all have to work with.

cosmopolite
cosmopolite

@NigelOswyn @AsherNewman : I have read an essay by a French Jewish woman born shortly after WWII. Her family and family friends attended temple regularly. She never attended a bris, and never heard of a bris while growing up (her family was not orthodox). She revealed this in an autobiographical essay about her discovery of the American obsession with circumcision when she married an American Jew.

Many European Jews are liberal and assimilated, but still consider themselves Jewish. In many such families, brit milah ceased several generations ago. But this is a fact that such families very seldom wear on their sleeves. I remind one and all that the tip of the penis is the most sexual part of the male body.

cosmopolite
cosmopolite

@thn1010 @NigelOswyn What you say about Jews from the former Soviet Block is true. They are intact because before 1985-90, it was not legal to be a mohel in those countries.

If there is no God, there is no Covenant. Without the Covenant, there is no religious reason to circumcise. To be an atheist or agnostic and to insist that one's sons be circumcised says a great deal about shaming and conformity and the fear of sexual rejection at the hands of the sort of women one approves of as a future daughter in law, and nothing about religion and belief. I have argued since the 1980s that circumcision is grounded in bigotry over a natural feature of the human body. All bodies deserve respect, not alteration because the previous generation finds them sexually unattractive.

It is not true that "one can't be a Jew without being circumcised". When men apply to be admitted to Israel under the Law of Return, they are not asked to reveal their penises. I have long noticed that Jews humour those of Jewish ancestry who are admitted atheists and/or never set foot in a temple.

The question of who is and is not a Jew has never been fully answered. Hence the question of what fraction of Jewish men are circumcised, is unanswerable.

cosmopolite
cosmopolite

@AsherNewman Again, white lab coat + peer review + prestigious affiliation on one's business card, does not guarantee truth or compliance with medical ethics!

South Korea circumcises, Japan does not.

Philippines circumcises, Taiwan does not.

Circumcision is less common in Canada than the USA.

USA has circumcised heavily for 70-100 years, continental Europe has never circumcised.

New Zealand used to circumcise but completely gave it up.

Comparative studies of STD infection rates and of urological problems across these nations could shed some light on the alleged prophylactic merits of circumcision. To my knowledge, no studies of this nature exist.

The African clinical trials have two fundamental flaws:

1. The circumcised treatments were given free condoms. The intact controls were not.

2. The trials were terminated after 18 months, so that we cannot rule out that circumcision only delays the inevitable. I.e., we cannot rule out risk compensation, namely that circumcised men indulge in more unprotected sex, negating any possible protective effect of circumcision.

aliberaldoseofskepticism
aliberaldoseofskepticism

So, you're saying he's xenophobic (Funny, wouldn't xenophobia require hating immigrants?) and brainwashed, and that's why he refutes any claims you make? Cute, but that's known as an ad hominem.

thn1010
thn1010

@NigelOswyn

"Sixty percent of Jews in Scandinavia and Russia are intact, and still quite Jewish."

- That is utter BS, the majority of cultural & religious Jews in Scandinavia ARE circumcised. If we talk about completely integrated individuals of Jewish heritage who don't even identify as Jews that might well be. I know many Jews in Scandinavia, basically all are from very secular families, few even believes in God and all are circumcised and finds it a vital part of Jewish culture. As for Jews in Russia, religious practise was strictly regulated in Russia during the Soviet era, go figure why the numbers are low! Moron. It's a fact that you can't be a Jew without being circumcised, it's one of the basic guidelines of who actually is a Jew. A Jew is an individual in covenant with God, the covenant is defined by the circumcision. The word covenant even translates to "cut". Uncircumcised = not in covenant with God = not a Jew.


Xenophobic brainwashed people like yourself are gonna refute any fact regarding circumcision, you already have your mind set on how "bad and cruel" it is despite science disproving you. It's just amusing to see all anti-circumcists swarm the comment sections in any articles related to circumcision...

NigelOswyn
NigelOswyn

@AsherNewman You are under quite a spell Asher.  You should liberate yourself from it.  Many Jews throughout history have not practiced genital cutting.  As for Muslims, cutting mentioned no where in the Koran.  Sixty percent of Jews in Scandinavia and Russia are intact, and still quite Jewish.  A few Rabbis in America have put down their knives, and many American Jews are having Brit Shalom without cutting.  I've read accounts from at least one Muslim who wrote that there are families in their culture that don't practice genital cutting.

The doctors of whom you are referring make incredible amounts of money from keeping genital cutting alive.  They would be assaulted with litigation if they suddenly admitted the financial fraud it is.  I'm sorry you have been mislead and are obviously one of the victims of the bogus practice.  If you were intact, and older, you would see the blatant manipulation this article perpetuates.

aliberaldoseofskepticism
aliberaldoseofskepticism

Except Dr Bailey isn't that kind of doctor! He's a PhD in anthropology. Dr Halperin is also a PhD in anthropology. Many of the prominent names on "circumcision prevents HIV" studies were names 4chan users found while trolling the Circlist message board in 2007. Circlist, so you understand, is a group dedicated to circumcision porn. One of the most prominent Circlist members, Vernon Quaintance, was arrested last year for possession of child pornography; he's not a doctor either. (A sixtysomething with no children or previous marriages, and he runs a computer club for children at the library and is active in the youth group at his church. Hmm...No, I see absolutely no sign of pedophilia here.)

So, what other cultural practices should I support? Huitzilopochtli is hungry.