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Circumcision Reduces AIDS Risk?

Not having a boy ourselves (nor, to the
best of our knowledge, are we about to have one), Brian and I have
not done a lot of research into circumcision. I do know that what
used to be a relatively standard procedure has recently become the
object of much more scrutiny, and the subject seems to be almost as
much of a hot button topic as breastfeeding in some circles, with
both sides holding strong opinions.

I’m not trying to stir up a hornet’s nest by bringing
up infant circumcision today, but a medical journal recently
published a report on the National Institute of Health’s
recent study about circumcision and AIDS prevention.

The numbers are staggering, and the world health community is
sitting up and taking notice.

According to this study, circumcised men
are between 51% and 60 % less likely to contract HIV. This, to me
is a serious number. I had heard before that circumcised men were
less likely to get sexually transmitted diseases in general: the
reason I had read at the time was that condoms are less likely to
fit correctly on an uncircumcised male. But the numbers were not
this high, nor were the reasons the same.

The trial results indicate that the cells in penis foreskin are
especially susceptible to the virus. The World Health Organization
calls this finding astounding, and experts compare this finding in
significance with the original identification of the virus.

Spreading the news is easy; nothing else about this is. With
circumcision so fraught with religious implications, is the world
ready for any organization that calls for mass circumcision? Not to
mention the health care and expense involved if circumcision were
made standard in, say, Africa. And certainly no one is recommending
at this time that adult men run out and get circumcised. But the
numbers are undeniable, and I’m guessing will sway parents on
the fence about this issue. If you’re interested, click target="_blank"
here to read a full article on the report.

How do you feel about this? Would discovering you could reduce your
son’s risk of AIDS infection by 60% be enough to convince you
to circumcise? Do you think it should be mandatory, like infant
shots? I’m really interested in what other people think on


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