New Circumcision Study
A new study out of Kenya and Uganda says that circumcision (in men) significantly reduces the risk of HIV and HPV as well as genital herpes. "Significantly" in this case is shown here and said to be "up to 60%" for HIV.
Of course, all the Cut The Babies! people are raising their voices to implement circumcision programs everywhere because of this new information. The Save The Babies! people are saying that it's one study and not worth getting riled up and changing the recommendation of the American Acadamy of Pediatrics - which is that there is not enough information to justify circumcision.
I'm firmly in the Don't Cut The Babies camp, but this is interesting stuff. My opinion is that (a) why do we have to apply this data across the board? Uganda and Kenya are not Canada, the United States or any country in Europe. While the operation may reduce HIV risk by up to 60%, proper and regular condom use makes that number shoot up to 90%. A combination might be better (provided the fucking pope doesn't open his asshole mouth) in these African countries.
Then (b), in Canada we're using the HPV vaccine that seems to be effective to well above 90% (although some parents are sketchy on giving it, mostly for *surprise!* religious "we have to keep cervical cancer as a threat to keep our girls from premarital sex" reasons) plus condom use and good sex education which keeps HIV infection rates low (0.3% for adults - from here). Circumcising babies still seems like a barbaric non-solution to a problem that is being handled through other, more logical and humane avenues. Commenter Mark Lyndon on the original Science News article makes a good point:
Babies aren't going to be getting any STI's before they're old enough to decide for themselves whether or not they want part of their genitals cut off.This cuts to the heart of the issue for me which is, don't permanently alter someone else's body when they're unable/unfit to choose. Saying that babies should be circumcised because of religous, cultural, or worst of all, asthetic reasons is to make an argument on extremely thin ice.