Sunday, July 26, 2009

Universal Circumcision Reduces HIV Dramatically

Did you catch this latest gem of a story? The Phillipines, where universal circumcision is practiced and encouraged, has one of the lowest HIV rates in the world.

A story from ABS/CBN News is worth a moment:

"Dr. Catherine Hankins, chief scientific adviser to UNAIDS, has praised the Philippines for having one of the lowest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the Asia-Pacific, which she attributed to the country's practice of almost universal male circumcision." [my emphasis].

"One of the major reasons for the Philippines' low HIV prevalence rate is the fact that it practices almost universal male circumcision. We know that male circumcision protects against HIV partially, about a 60 percent reduction for men and eventually that means Filipino women are less likely to encounter men who are HIV positive so they have lower rates of HIV," Hankins, chief scientific adviser to UNAIDS, told

"The Philippines, in adopting male circumcision despite the fact that it is primarily a Roman Catholic country has meant a better control of the epidemic."

"She said various studies have shown the benefits of male circumcision including lower rates of urinary tract infections in male infants who are circumcised; lower risk of penile cancer and lower prevalence of some sexually transmitted infections such as human papillomavirus (HPV) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2)."

Now we've known this medical evidence for some time now, but what is interesting is that the Phillipines is a perfect "case study" of what happens when every male is clean-cut. Of course, there is some HIV & STDs & HPV, but the cultural desire to be circumcised has greatly cut the rates of those awful diseases there. In the Philippines to be "supot" or "pisot" (meaning uncircumcised) is not only unhealthy but it's also socially unacceptable. Indeed, to call someone supot or pisot is a great insult, meaning not only are they uncircumcised but they are dirty, unclean, and child-like.

I hope Dr. Hankins has talked to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) so that they, like the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS, can forcefully call for universal circumcision in America.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Circumcision Improves Women's Sex Life

"Male circumcision perks up women's sex life" was the headline the other day in The Money Times (of all places). Of course, it's true as we all know. Most women prefer a circumcised male once they've experienced that pleasure. [This is where the foreskin lovers will chime in about most women have sex with uncircumcised males -- but that's only because these poor women don't have any other options].

No surprise, this is still another study that proves the benefits of getting rid of that ugly, disease-ridden foreskin.

"Researchers studied 455 female partners of circumcised men in Uganda. The research team studied the sexual satisfaction of circumcised men’s partners as part of the initial trials to test the efficacy of male circumcision."

"In the study women, between the ages of 15 and 49, reported their sexual satisfaction before and after their partners were circumcised. Around 57 percent of the women reported no change in sexual satisfaction while 39 percent said sex was more satisfying post-circumcision, and mere 3 percent reported less satisfaction after their male partner’s circumcision."

Let's emphasize that. The anti-circ fanatics say that circumcision hurts sex. You know the standard bullshit -- "it takes away thousands of nerve endings" blah blah blah. In this study, a slight majority of women reported no difference -- and 39% said circumcision improved sex. No surprise, only 3% were unhappy. So much for those "nerve endings."

"According to Dr. Godfrey Kigozi, MD, of the Rakai Health Sciences Program in Kalisizo, Uganda, the handful of women who reported reduced sexual satisfaction blamed either lower levels of desire or their partner’s struggle to achieve an erection." Yah, it wasn't the circumcision anyways.

"On the other hand, those women who reported improved sexual satisfaction said improved hygiene (cited by 51 of 177 women) and the fact that their partner took longer to achieve an orgasm (45 of the 177 women) resulting in longer sex, perked up their sex life."

"Kigozi and colleagues reported their findings at the fifth annual International AIDS Society conference on pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of HIV."

Readers of my blog know that I believe the best reason to circumcise is good public health. But, hey, it can't hurt when that little snip improves your sex life!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Auto Circumcision: The Act of Faking Being Circumcised

Just when you think you've heard it all, you learn something new about the desirability of circumcision. Turns out that there are lots of males out there who wish they were circumcised but weren't. But instead of getting their filthy foreskins snipped, they retract their skin and leave it retracted all the time. WTF!

Apparently so many dudes do this that it's got a name: auto circumcision. Here's the definition of that in the Urban Dictionary: "the act of retracting the foreskin of the penis and keeping it retracted all the time so it appears to others to be circumcised; auto circumcision is popular among circumcision fetishists, especially some gays, who believe the circumcised penis is the most attractive; a dude who is auto circumcised looks cut to the casual observer in the locker room but still has his foreskin."

Does anyone know anyone who pretends to be circumcised? Can you tell the difference? And why would someone do this? Seems to me the answer is obvious. It's better to be circumcised! It's better to feel circumcised! It's better to look circumcised! In short, auto circumcision is the best proof ever that uncircumcised dudes wish they had had parents who would have done it right at birth. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Failure to Circumcise Cost Millions of Deaths

Sometimes it takes awhile for medical scientists to understand the importance of the discoveries made by fellow researchers. Such was the case of the link between the foreskin and HIV/AIDs, a discovery first made nearly 25 years ago.

Alex Renton, a reporter for The Observer, wrote this over the weekend:

"In 1985 researchers discovered that circumcised men who visited prostitutes in Kenya were much less likely to contract HIV. Some 30 studies on the issue were done during the 1990s, but it was not until 2004 that formal double-blind trials were commissioned by international Aids agencies. As a result of "overwhelming results" from these, pilot programmes for mass circumcision of men began in a number of African countries late last year. "

"It is now accepted by the World Health Organisation and other bodies that circumcision reduces chances of HIV infection by about 60%, and that up to 3 million deaths and 5.7 million infections could be prevented over the next 20 years. About 30 million people are thought to have died from Aids-related illnesses since 1981."

Dr Catherine Hankins, the chief scientific adviser to UNAids, the United Nations special agency for the epidemic, said that the failure to test the findings in the 1990s was "hard to explain".

"There's a good question to be asked of the research agencies: why they did not start the trials earlier," said Hankins. "We had 20 years of observational data on circumcision. I can't think of another product, or a technique, that waited for so long before trials." Circumcision has now been proved a very cost-effective way of reducing the rate of HIV infection, she said.

"Professor Francis Plummer, who led the University of Nairobi research team that first discovered the circumcision-HIV link in Kenya in the 1980s, said millions of lives might have been saved if his research had been acted upon sooner.

"There's been a failure of global public health institutions. We haven't done it very well. It's a frustration I've lived with for a very long time," Plummer said.

The failure of public health organizations to act has been deadly, not just in Africa but all over the world. In 2009, there is absolutely no reason for any male to have a disease-causing filthy foreskin. How long must we wait until the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, to say nothing of their counterparts in other countries, wake up? It's time for the AAP and CDC to state clearly: the circumcision of every boy is a must to protect not only their own health, but also the health of their partners and society as a whole.