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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Cut it Out!

The N.I.H. released the results of a study indicating that circumcision appears to reduce the risk of a man contracting AIDS from heterosexual sex by 50%.

That's all well and good, but I feel like studies always seem to over suggest the overall impact. There are a lot of qualifiers in that "50% reduction" statement. First of all, it only applies to men. Secondly, it applies to men having heterosexual (or vaginal) sex. The basis for the argument is that skin tissue in the foreskin is more susceptible to infection and more prone to develop tiny tears during intercourse. However, using a condom pretty much negates both of these issues and is a much lower-cost form of prevention. Unfortunately, there's also a risk associated with circumcision as bacterial infection can occur as a result of using dirty blades to perform the procedure, of which a potential outcome is death.

It seems like NIH is suggesting circumcision as a part of an entire prevention process -- as we all know that just because you're circumcised, it doesn't mean you're not going to catch anything.

I suppose circumcision is a viable option for use in Africa, where AIDS is rampant, perpetuated by heterosexual sex. However, this doesn't necessarily address other segments of the global population who are still being infected with HIV. The study doesn't really address the impact on anal sex, and only implies a reduction in women's infection rates as circumcised men would be less likely to infect women during vaginal sex.

So I say, there's no need to cut and run. Keep what you got and pick up a condom.


  • The NIH and other research bodies often stay cautiously far away from any studies that use government money to study / investigate gay issues. If the proposal isnt slanted toward some noble heterosexual goal, like making sure that 'married straight couples can have children without passing on HIV' it is likely to be denied. In other words - any act that doesn't yield more christian spawn is unacceptable. Good luck finding help from uncle Sam if you want to investigate the transmission rate in gay anal sex - never mind that every senators granddaughters are probably getting poked in the ass. Its just how the political climate has changed. The religious right wing has so much power that most law makers dont dare to defy them.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/14/2006 5:54 PM  

  • Thanks, Anonymous Reader, for your comment on the periphery of the subject :)

    By Blogger gothamwhore, at 12/14/2006 8:38 PM  

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