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If Circumcision Halves Risk of Spreading HIV, Should All Baby Boys Get Cut?

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When researchers in Africa, conducting studies to see if circumcision helps stops the spread of HIV, realized the answer was a resounding “Yes,” they called off the experiment — because not doing so was to put uncircumcised men at too great a risk, and that would’ve been unethical. A simple snip, they found, reduced the risk of men contracting HIV from women by an astonishing fifty percent. With that data in hand, American health officials are thinking about officially recommending all newborn boys get their foreskin removed. Fetishists, for one, are going to be pissed.

If there were a pill available that reduced the chance of spreading HIV by 50 percent, drug makers would be pushing it on us like Adderall. Or at least as heavily as that HPV vaccine. But we’re not talking about a pill; we’re talking about a simple medical procedure that, at least for men who have sex with women, halves the risk of infection (for HIV-positive women giving it to men).

There are, and will be, critics who already say circumcision is tantamount to torturing young baby boys who cannot give consent to mutilation. There are those who say that while male circumcision doesn’t eliminate sexual pleasure — the way, say, female circumcision (the removal of the clitoris) does — it certainly makes things, well, less enjoyable. While an estimated 79 percent of American men are circumcised, the rate for newborns is falling; black and Latino communities, which are disproportionately ravaged by HIV, have even lower circumcision rates.

Except, here’s the rub: Circumcision leads to no significant decrease in the spread of HIV between men who have sex with other men. Which means government-sanctioned circumcision of all newborn boys, for the sole reason of reducing the spread of HIV, would be mostly meaningless for those young Williams, Matthews, and Dwaynes that grow up to be gay. Except in their formative years, where they’re trying the lady thing. (Circumcision does decrease the risk of urinary tract infections for baby boys, apparently.)

But even Alan Chambers will admit, you can’t tell whether a baby boy is going to be gay or straight as soon as he comes out of the womb. And if we go with napkin math estimates that 90 percent of Americans are straight, then there’s a good chance the newborn will be sleeping with the opposite gender. If there’s a way to cut his risk of contracting HIV by 50 percent down the line, shouldn’t we encourage parents to snip things in the bud?

NB: It’s all going to be the topic du jour at the first National H.I.V. Prevention Conference in Atlanta this week.

By:           editor editor
On:           Aug 24, 2009
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 83 Comments
    • Shawn
      Shawn

      The CDC is blindly and ignorantly considering recommending circumcision, based on inconclusive studies not done in the US, even the American Association of Pediatrics, who has never recommended circumcision in its 70 year history is against them, this is bs, circumcision does not prevent HIV, I am circumcised and very unhappy about it, I am restoring my foreskin, and I will never circumcise my son, don’t you think if circumcision prevented anything, 80% of the world would not be uncircumcised.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 2:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MikenStL
      MikenStL

      I believe using a condom also stops spreading HIV a tad bit more than 50% (also prevents pregnancy too as a bonus….)

      And what’s next, I heard that pulling all of your kids teeth prevents them from getting cavities and they don’t even need to brush or floss…. Just a thought

      Aug 24, 2009 at 2:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom D Frog
      Tom D Frog

      F*ck NO!

      Teach kids and adults properly about sex and the transmission of disease!
      Teach people how to be Parents!

      GENITAL MUTILATION IS NOT THE ANSWER!!!! especially on participants who cannot speak for themselves.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 2:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alessandro
      alessandro

      “Fetishists, for one, are going to be pissed.”

      And I stopped reading right there.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 2:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack
      Jack

      Absolutely not.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 2:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rayne
      Rayne

      Uh… no? Since we can’t agree on whether or not it should be done at all, how bout leaving such a personal procedure up to the parents? The government really just wants to be in all parts of our lives, huh?

      “Fetishists, for one, are going to be pissed.”

      I’m not sure what circumcisions have to do with fetishists, but okay.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 2:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shawn
      Shawn

      @Rayne: or better yet, leave it up to the person who owns the penis

      Aug 24, 2009 at 2:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lauren
      Lauren

      My friend and I had a mini-debate about this the other day. It was a hypothetical “if we have sons” conversation, and she’s Jewish and pro-circumcision. I’m agnostic and against non-consensual, unnecessary body modification of any kind on any gender. I don’t like the implications. Parents are either circumcising their sons based on aesthetics (“We want him to look normal and fit in so we’ll cut his flesh”) or for religion (you know, that completely subjective belief system that children often grow out of and is a matter of consent). Then this story popped up today.

      In America, where we have condoms in every corner store, it would be completely irresponsible to imply that straight men probably won’t get HIV from women if their circumcised. It’s straight men (in my anecdotal experience) who are the most blase about HIV in the first place, who think they’re immune from disease (HPV can be devastating for women, but doesn’t harm men), and who already don’t suffer the reproductive costs of heterosexual intercourse. This won’t help.

      Circumcision is barbaric, and it’s no guarantee against HIV. More than that, it’s important that everyone who is sexually active go about it in a respectful, healthy way, and that means communing about protections with your partner, whoever that may be. There are already systems in place (which much better averages) that protect us all indiscriminately. We don’t need advice that is both privileged and ineffectual coming out of the CDC.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 2:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • zoe
      zoe

      I think it needs to be left as a choice for the parents to decide. The child has no say in the matter, so it needs to be something for the parents to decide what the best path for their child is.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 2:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff K.
      Jeff K.

      My gods, who wrote this article?! Cutting off a functional part of a baby’s penis is not a civilized method of preventing STD transmission. Sex education and use of condoms are. I couldn’t even make it all the way through the article. This kind of ignorance makes me sick.

      I was circ’d and am now restoring. While a restored foreskin offers protection to the glans (tip), it is impossible to regain the nerve endings and natural tightness that are present in an unmutilated foreskin. Believe me, the unresolved anger towards my parents and the medical establishment in general isn’t a fun burden to carry.

      And the comment about fetishists? Unbelievable. Preferring the natural, unmutilated penis to the scarred, stretched and chafed remnant that so many American (and Jewish) men have to deal with is most certainly not a fetish. If anything it’s the other way around.

      This article just ruined my day. Thanks a lot.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 2:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      This study is flawed…maybe males should also yank all their teeth out to prevent cavities too?…

      Aug 24, 2009 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Roland Hulme
      Roland Hulme

      What a DISGUSTING article. Christ, it makes me sick to think that idiots would possibly think of mandating circumcision. It’s an elective surgery – a mutilation, no less – performed on an infant too young to consent. Doctors who advocate it should be stripped of their license.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 2:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Doroteo Arango
      Doroteo Arango

      It would be interesting to see the methodology behind a study that finds 50% change for straights but 0% change for gays. How do the researchers explain those vectors of contagion? (Diagrams, please!)

      Once this study becomes authoritative, its researchers will be able to cash in on a new industry, that of validating all of Deuteronomy. Without such authority, however, it is unwarranted — in fact, irresponsible — to advocate any irreversible or invasive procedure.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 2:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Champagne and Benzedrine
      Champagne and Benzedrine

      Whoever wrote this article should be fired and never be allowed to write for Queerty again. Disgraceful.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 2:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tarcash
      Tarcash

      Well, they also do it without any kind of anesthesia. Can you imagine how painful it must be for a baby, unable to protect himself, and have someone slice off part of your penis?

      Sickening…

      Aug 24, 2009 at 2:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alexa
      Alexa

      Is the rate of HIV infection in the US about half what it is in the UK, where circumcision is rare? It should be, if circumcision is the reason for the results in this study.

      Thinking along the same lines, maybe tonsils should be routinely removed at birth, or the appendix. Women at increased risk of breast cancer can opt to have them removed as a preventative measure, maybe all of us should. It’s not like they’re necessary.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 2:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jesse
      Jesse

      I’ve read in other places that those studies that say Circumcision helps prevent HIV or Urinary infections ect are mostly forged.

      Even if Circumcision does decrease the chances of HIV it’s been found to increase the chances of many other problems one might face in life(I can’t recall what these are, I’m just saying what I’ve read in other places)

      I myself was originally not circumcised but when I was 12 I slowly began experiencing Phimosis, the closing of the foreskin, my parents ignored it even though I kept telling them I wanted to see a doctor about ti and it wasn’t until I was 14 when it began to become difficult to urinate that I finally got to see a urologist, who told me before even looking at the problem that the ONLY way to fix it was circumcision, so I got circumcised and it was a terrible experience, especially since I was going through puberty, imagine having to avoid getting an erection because it would cause the stitches to dig into your penis, AND YOU’RE 14! The age when anything will cause an erection.

      It was only after I finally recovered that I learned there actually WERE other ways to stop Phimosis and that my urologist had LIED to me! In order to push a surgery I didn’t need.

      And being one of the few people that can remember having foreskin and now doesn’t have it, I REALLY miss my foreskin, it is terrible not having it, I lost 2 inches!

      Aug 24, 2009 at 2:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lauren
      Lauren

      @Alexa: They already use this logic with wisdom teeth. I have mine, they have plenty of room, and I don’t need them out. My dentist and my father insisted they should come out as a hypothetical preventative measure, and said that if I have to get them out later in life, it’ll be more painful (as could be said for circumcision too, I imagine). I had to pull rank and cite the fact that I was over eighteen, so unless they thought they could hold me down and do it, I would keep my teeth.

      Just because it’s generally a good idea to do something doesn’t mean that it works for everyone individually (like say, if you have perfectly straight, happy teeth, or you know how to clean your own penis). I don’t like that parents have this kind of say over their childrens’ bodies, and I especially don’t like that the government seems to agree they can mutilate at will. Unless your child is sick or in pain, leave them be.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 3:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rrr
      rrr

      don’t you think if circumcision prevented anything, 80% of the world would not be uncircumcised.

      No, I don’t think that because AIDS hasn’t been around very long at all from a historical standpoint.

      I don’t know about making circumcisions mandatory. On the other hand, I don’t see at all why parents would be better placed to make an intelligent decision over health and medical experts. It seems like something a guy should be allowed to decide for himself later or at least the medical community should decide with consideration of evidence of personal health results, community health impacts and medical ethics.

      A lot of guys don’t like using condoms, so this could help keep them healthy if they avoid condoms. There are also a lot of countries where AIDS is a huge problem in which there is low availablility of condoms and/or a cultural rejection of condoms. Anything that helps keep men from getting HIV will also less spread of HIV.

      I don’t think it’s a simple issue, and it’s not comaparable to having all your teeth removed. It’s like having your wisdom teeth pulled because there is reason to think they might cause you trouble. Having all your teeth pulled would only work as a comparison if they were chopping off whole dicks to lower the transmission of disease.

      The people who are concerned about the details of the research should find the published study which will no doubt answer a lot more questions than a newspaper summary.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 3:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Erick
      Erick

      As someone stated already, condoms are more efective in HIV prevention than anything else.

      I know that in some places, like Africa, it is more difficult to make more people aware and increase condom use for cultural reasons, but a consistant and well organized effort to inform people -anywhere- about this issue will prevent more infections than if they started mangling kids, say from today on and systematically, in the time this kids would start to have sex and after.

      I would hope that the money used in studies like this could go to those who are working in something productive, like a vaccine or a cure, than to putting out information that misinforms or confuse.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 3:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam
      Sam

      While we are at it, we could eliminate the tragedy of breast cancer by mandating all baby girls have a mastectomy.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 3:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rrr
      rrr

      @Sam:

      Breast cancer isn’t a contagious epidemic. Human breast milk is also really helpful to babies.

      I’d like to hear straight guys’ views on this circumcision issue. We gays really fixate on penises as objection of attraction and care about the look of them. Straight guys just don’t want a small dick, and the women they seek to attract don’t seem to spend time or attention considering the relative prettiness of dicks. I wonder if the upset over the idea of more widespread circumsion is more of a gay thing.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 3:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Liz
      Liz

      Circumcision isn’t what halves the risk, EDUCATION IS!!! Latino and black men are more likely to get HIV/AIDS because they exist in cultures that are not properly informed about the risks of sex and the proper avenues of protection. Education and self-awareness are the keys here, not penis mutilation!

      Aug 24, 2009 at 3:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Liz
      Liz

      @Sam: Well said!

      Aug 24, 2009 at 3:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alexa
      Alexa

      @rrr: early and multiple sex partners have been shown to significantly increase the chances of women getting infected with HPV and thus getting cervical cancer. Using your logic, as men can’t be trusted to wear condoms and should therefore be forcibly mutilated, I suggest mandatory chastity belts for all girls to stop them having sex.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 3:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      While it is nonesense, the article(above says that there is no significant decrease in men who are uncircumcised getting HIV, they note no statistics, particularly of people who are active partners. Certainly being receptive may leave you equaly as susceptible as women.
      While fetishists may be opposed to circumcision, so are anti-semetics.
      Being circumcised, if I was anymore sensitive i’d be coming in my dry goods non-stop. It’s erroneous to draw any comparison between a clitorectomy and circumcision. As far as you can draw physiological parallels, a clitorectomy would be more like having your dick loped off. The idea is to prevent sexual enjoyment, in women .
      There is no reason to believe that heterosexual vulnerability of active partners would be any different than that of similar homosexual partners. Extrapolating of course, as with women the receptive partner would be just as vulnerable regardless .
      As far as “cruelty” goes babies nervous systems are only at the onset of development, and it is quetionable that they suffer much at all. Of course if you suspected that, you could keep him aneasthized.

      We can hardly afford to be lackadaisical about this disease in any way. I had the good fortune to be able to engage in sex before the advent of this plaque and know full well that the promise of having fully realized gay lifestyles rests on the revival at some point of our ability to freely join with one another in unfearful and unashamed sexuality, and community, nonme of which is possible with the current puritanical heterosexual options.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 3:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ethan
      Ethan

      FUCK no. Genital mutilation is evil in all forms. I work in HIV prevention and I’d rather folks just use condoms and lube.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 3:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gary
      Gary

      Infant genital mutilation will NEVER be a good idea – if you want your sons to be protected, teach them about protection, don’t AMPUTATE parts of their bodies!

      Aug 24, 2009 at 4:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • unimac
      unimac

      I wish my parents never had me circumcised. I didn’t care about it until a few years after I started becoming sexually active, and then it hit me like a brick wall…the fact that I had something removed from me, surgically, and that it has happened to millions of other men without their consent. I thought about it a lot and became upset about it. It is a serious problem and indicative, i think, of an obscene medical system.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Allan C
      Allan C

      How do you restore foreskin?

      Aug 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • unimac
      unimac

      HIV prevention, while important, the application of these kinds of methods are inherently f*cked up…right?

      Aug 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rrr
      rrr

      @Alexa: No, that logic doesn’t follow at all. Chastity belts aren’t workable for one thing, and they would constrain freedom of personal conduct in a way circumcision does not.

      If women could have some minor procedure done to their nipple or the lips of their vagina at birth that would leave them still with plenty of sensation and had evidence to suggest it would reduce their risk of contracting AIDs by 50%, you can bet it would be attracting serious discussion and world governments would be considering the possibility of making it mandatory.

      AIDS is a huge killing plague in a lot of the world and education where it has been tried in developing countries has not been having a big impact. Infected guys are still raping child virgins in Africa to “cure” themselves. I think the officials and men in those countries have to look at the evidence and consider it the light of their countries’ conditions and the death toll all around them. They may well not even care much about the aethstetic look of their penises anyway, certainly the kids they are raping don’t care about it.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pete
      Pete

      No. Circumcision goes against nature and it’s too excessive to deal with this problem. It’s wrong to butcher a little kid like that and it doesn’t address the root causes of HIV spreading, particularly in developing countries: men refusing to be responsible (e.g., promiscuity without condoms, prostitution) and misogynistic violence (rapes).

      Aug 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rayne
      Rayne

      @Shawn: See, here’s my thing with that. My father was uncut until his thirties. He got an extremely bad infection (Don’t ask me why. He may have been a dirty person back then, but knowing my father like I do, I doubt it.) and had to be circumcised because of it. The recovery was weeks. Circumcision as an infant heals in a matter of days.

      That was the deciding factor for me when I had my son.

      If I could have asked him, at birth, what he wanted to do, I totally would have. But he’s nearing thirteen and couldn’t care less one way or another. His dad’s cut. His grandfathers are both cut. His great-grandfathers are cut. He’d be odd man out if he wasn’t.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mk
      mk

      @Pete:

      Most of modern life goes against nature. The problem of AIDS is huge. Are you seriously suggesting it’s clearly better to slowly work at changing the basic social conditions in developing countries while AIDS spreads and kills at its current rate instead of saving lives by doing something simple and easy immediately? It’s not our decision what those countries should do anyway, but I think your dismissal is flip and ignores the scale of the challenges in those countries and the very limited resources to deal with them.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sean H.
      Sean H.

      The way diseases like AIDS spreads in Africa is different than in America. With so little health care, people often have other sores and STDs that make them more vulnerable to AIDS. It’s silly to base a recommendation on an entirely different culture.

      In America, high risk groups – such as gay people and some ethnic communities – have less access to sexual education and healthcare (with gays, our sexual education is mostly irrelevant to our particular situations especially those taught in abstinence only curricula).

      And… most nations in the world do not have rates of circumcision nearly as high as those in America. Is there a disproportionate level of HIV infection in England or Canada for instance? You’d think such a thing might be taken into consideration. Of course, America never takes logic into consideration with regard to anything sexual.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 4:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack
      Jack [Different person #1 using similar name]

      20,000 FINE TOUCH AND STRETCH nerve endings should NOT be amputated from baby boys without asking the owner. The CDC wants to take their main pleasure zones and expose them to staph infection. This is such crap.

      There is a greater chance of the baby boy getting MRSA staph from this in a US hospital than the same kid getting HIV through his life. This is such a strange idea that one wonders why the US Meds have this obsession. We have higher HIV and very high Circ rate as compared to natural uncut EU and JP. Could it be cut male Drs and female MDs that are from cut tradition are trying to find a way to keep this barbaric practice going in the US? No other developed country is saying this! They think we are obsessed with choping off baby boy genitals.

      The alleged risk change (not seen in non african studies) is from 3.2% risk to about 1.78 % risk. Circumcision raises the HIV risk for women. Look it up the same africa studies found cut men transfered HIV to women at a much higher rate. The individual does not get much from this. One needs to avoid risk and use a condom.

      This is a fraud pushed by people that don’t have it or don’t know the main male pleasure zones are in the parts cut off by circumcision. One thing is certain, no person should have pleasure zones amputated without being asked. Stop doing this to babies.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 4:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack
      Jack [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @rrr:
      RRR, a study also showed that female circumcision cuts HIV from males to females. Does our CDC next recomend that?
      Stop this mutilation.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 4:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack
      Jack [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @M Shane:

      M Shane, This is pure ignorance. I am not saying you are not smart, you just don’t have the correct information.

      If you never had color vision, you would think it could not get much better than 20/20. But color vision is so great. This is not a matter of too much. The nerves hacked off are a huge source of pleasure that cut men like you have been denied. The extra pleasure does not make you do it in your pants, it actually gives you control and morre degrees/types of pleasure pleasure, in ways you may not understand. Stretch pleasure, fine touch pleasure. Do you even realize that the glans is relativl;y numb during sex. The parts cut off are the main male pleasure zones, that is why the nutters pushed this to end masturbation in the 1800s.

      Circumcision leads to ED at a young age, chnages the dynamics of sex, makes you need lube and makes you need VIAGRA.

      FGM is barbaric, but typically, the kind most practiced involves removal of the clitoral hood and labia. Those parts have less nerve endings and it is really less severe than MGM done here in the USA. The reasons to do it are the same Hygeine, HIV risk reduction lower STDs, all myth or over stated. Keep off the baby erogenous tissue please.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 5:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TADPOLICUS WEX
      TADPOLICUS WEX

      @zoe: I’d love to circumsize both your parents Zoe and guess what, as tthe child you have no say!

      Aug 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hampton
      Hampton

      These comments are insane.

      You people are just crazy…

      “Mutilation” “pulling out teeth” “mastectomies”

      *sigh*

      I am circumcised and I am totally fine with it. I kind of think its really mean of you guys to be calling me “mutilated” and comparing my penis to some sort of “ruined” body part. That’s just not fair.

      I think the real question here, is what should we recommend in *AFRICA*. They aren’t using condoms and in some areas 85% of people are infected and slowly dying. We might be able to influence the doctors there to take these steps and save millions of lives.

      We are talking about human lives here. *Real* suffering. And you people are just gabbing on and on about “horrible” this and “barbaric” that. Trust me, me and my cut dick are *not* going through the same pain and trauma that millions of slowly dying people are going through.

      Drop your whining and actually help some humans!

      Aug 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Restoring Tally
      Restoring Tally

      Babies do not have sex. So, routine infant circumcision is not relevant to reducing HIV. Let the adult man decide if he wishes to have a portion of his sex organ removed by circumcision. If the man is smart, he will wear a condom when having at-risk sex.

      Also, having non-medically required surgery on an infant is a violation of that infant’s human rights and bodily integrity. It is illegal to perform non-medically required genital surgery on infant girls in the US. Why is there a double standard that allows genital surgery on baby boys?

      Many men are finding out that they miss their foreskin. They, like myself, are restoring their foreskin to regain what was taken from us at birth. See http://www.RestoringForeskin.org to read accounts of men who wish they had never been circumcised and are doing something about it.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Restoring Tally
      Restoring Tally

      @Allan C:
      Check out the “Beginner’s Guide to Foreskin Restoration: at http://www.restoringforeskin.org/beginners-guide-foreskin-restoration or just Google “Foreskin Restoring”

      You can restore by manual tugging – let your imagination run wild there and you would probably be right :)
      or you can use a tugging device like the TLC Tugger or DTR or CAT II Q.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 5:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      @No. 39 · Jack: I’m unsure as to where you got you information regarding the Clitoretomy FGM, however , as the name would suggest, while the clitoral hood is removed that is to make removal of most or all of the clitoris possible. I knopw this for a fact from different sources , but moreso because it occures most commonly in Moslem and other African countries where the point is to keep the woman chaste and controlable. Without being among respectable moslems or people where women are just chatel , you would have no ideas as to the extremes that are gone to to protect a woman for her husband alone. Indeed, my roommate from libya was prevented from even seeing his bride to be utill after marriage. Women who commit adultery are killed–I even watched a film of the man being beheaded and she shot-in Mecca, not that long ago.
      It is practiced in 28 countries in Africa. It is ancient and has nothing to do with cleanliness, only keeping women in line. Someone has been feeding you a line; if they can’t feel anything, why chase men.

      You may be right about enhanced pleasure, but I would rather not have AIDS than enhanced pleasure and get sick.
      You don’t of course miss what you don’t have(I appreciate the metaphor) I know that I would rather be scalped than wearing a raincoat. (sorry mixed).

      Aug 24, 2009 at 5:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tarxien
      tarxien

      It’s worth noting that the death rate from male circumcision is significant, especially in Africa where the procedure is performed by people who are not medically trained, in non-sterile conditions and there is little access to antibiotics and blood transfusion. Most deaths are from infection and haemorrhage. There is also a significant mortality rate in the USA where this operation is often done for non-medical reasons. I do not believe the figures – 50% reduction in Aids mortality with circumcision. Where do these figures come from? The incidence of HIV is low in the UK/Europe (circumcision very rare) in comparison with South Africa, for example, where most men are circumcised for tribal reasons. In South Africa about 25% of the population has HIV, 85% of the men are circumcised. The figures just don’t add up.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 6:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Qjersey
      Qjersey

      If you rely on Queerty for your HIV/AIDS information…well I feel sorry for you.

      It’s a medical solution to a behavioral problem, it’s that simple.

      If being cut reduced sensation all that much we’d have all these cut men screaming “I can’t cum.”

      Any mention of circumcision always brings out the cranks.

      and BTW, it’s not the “FIRST national HIV Prevention conference”

      Aug 24, 2009 at 6:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      I have FORESKIN. I don’t have AIDS. I use rubbers.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 6:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      p.s. @Jack: the CD C reported that in afew cases there was decreased sensativity to fine touch in adults who had been circumcised; in a few cases sex was less satisfying in most it made little or no difference.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 6:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff K.
      Jeff K.

      If being cut reduced sensation all that much we’d have all these cut men screaming “I can’t cum.”

      I can’t. At least not during normal sex. Only while masturbating.
      I was hoping to leave that detail out, but oh well. :/

      Aug 24, 2009 at 6:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shawn
      Shawn

      @Rayne: How sad that you made that decision, based on something so rare, he stood a better chance of getting a botched circumcision, also, if you do not clean a cut penis, it will get infected too, showers clean, circumicsion does not.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 6:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nobody
      Nobody

      Fuck no. It’s my body and I’m still annoyed that my parents had the audacity to cut off part of my dick.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 6:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shawn
      Shawn

      @Nobody: I agree, but I more mad at the doctor than my parents

      Aug 24, 2009 at 6:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Toby
      Toby

      @Tom D Frog:

      and educating the world on HIV/AIDS for over 25 years has worked so well. People don’t listen.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 7:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyler
      Kyler

      @Tarcash:

      Puh-lease! I’m circumcised as are most guys in the U.S. Do any of us remember it? No. Snip it!

      Aug 24, 2009 at 7:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyler
      Kyler

      @Hampton:

      Hampton for President!! Well said!

      Aug 24, 2009 at 7:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ryan
      Ryan

      A few things: while circumcision has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV, a condom is infinitely more effective. If we’re talking about reducing the spread in vulnerable, poor countries, why are we contemplating a costly procedure? The doctors that we can get at these poor locations could probably have much better things to do than snip, snip, snip, when a simple, cheap condom could do the trick.

      Secondly, where money and doctors are at a premium, it doesn’t make sense to employ surgery where there may not be proper follow-up care. What about the guys who get infections? What about guys with complications, needing follow-up care? What about all the people who need real treatment, for real problems? With limited resources, what’s there should be used as effectively as possible. Circumcising people is not an effective use of those resources. Opportunity cost, people.

      There’s really no need to use this kind of medical procedure when a combination of education and condoms would do the trick. If people don’t know what HIV is and what causes it, a 50% reduced risk isn’t going to help them much if they’re employing risky behavior. Behavior needs to change — people who aren’t having safe sex need to start having safe sex.

      American scientists try so hard to justify circumcision, when in reality there’s almost no medical reason for it — and the new research on circumcision and HIV just isn’t compelling enough to warrant circumcising half of Africa (and beyond) over it. Just work on teaching about STDs and making sure condoms are available everywhere – that will be far more effective in the long run, whilst using human kind’s limited resources most effectively.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 7:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      I’d say it should be up to the person who owns the Penis whether to be circumcised or not. I hate the idea that my parents made that decision for me without my consent. I’ve done some research on it. Something that no one has brought up in the comments. If the doctor cuts a little too much off, there is not enough skin for normal erections, so the Penis ends up curving. Ever been with a circumcised guy who’s dick curved when he got hard? That’s generally why.

      Look through photos of botched circumcisions, it’s pretty terrible. I got lucky and the doc didn’t cut that much off, but I have always wondered what kind of sensations I’d have if I still had the full foreskin. On the other hand, I was with a guy once who’s foreskin wouldn’t retract all the way. He was always in pain he told me, and very smelly. So there you go, an argument for it. But regardless of whether it’s good or not, it should ALWAYS be up to the person themselves, not someone else. ALWAYS. It is WRONG for someone to decide for you what is right for your body.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 7:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam
      Sam

      @rrr: @rrr: I couldn’t imagine anyone thinking I was serious about a mastectomy.

      In every other case, performing elective surgery without informed consent is considered grossly unethical or illegal. So someone claims HIV spread might be reduced 50% if babies are circumcised. So what? Wear a condom and reduce risk the other 50% as well. Why trust that study anyway?

      And what’s with the pro-circumcision fetish anyway? So many like to dismiss the foreskin as some useless little flap of skin, snip and it’s gone. Look at the photo again. That baby is being tortured. nocirc.org is a great resource to learn why to not circumcise.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 8:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jamesnimmo
      jamesnimmo

      The baby at the top of this story does NOT look happy at being mutilated! How can ANY reputable surgeon be perfoming this operation WITHOUT the requirement of anesthesia as would be used during ANY adult’s operation.

      Would a full grown man undergo this operation without anesthesia
      as is COMMON for babies?

      Circumcision is barbaric, no debate!!!

      Aug 24, 2009 at 8:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      There is a debate, and clearly you havn’t read anything prior.
      I don’t know why people can be so cavalier about AIDS, such that a minor procedure which renders people less sensitive rarely ,according to the CDC, gives you fits.
      a babies nervous system is hardly even begun development and a number of minor surgeries are performed without anesthesia. The fact is that a male’s nervous system isn’t complete until they are 25 yrs’ old.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 9:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ben
      ben

      @alessandro:
      I feel an immense amount of pride and solidarity while reviewing these comments and seeing that nearly everyone agrees on this issue, which I genuinely did not expect.
      It would be an amazing failure in judgement if this writer is not removed for his partisan, offensive and ridiculous statements.

      Suggesting that people who advocate for infant males (who have no other protest but to scream, and they do) are merely cynical protesters and people who prefer their partners intact are “fetishists”. Could this man even have a journalism degree, or any degree?

      Aug 24, 2009 at 10:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • anony
      anony

      Wearing a condom is more effective at protecting against hiv then being circumcised. Not to mention low risk sexual behaivors generally decrease the chances of infection,

      HELL TO THE MATHA FUCCN NO!!!…circumcision should NOT be made mandoraty. I am against circumcising babies. Thats a decision the individual should make themselves when older.

      The forksin contains so many nerve endings, cutting it off desentisizes the penis. Cant believe people still do this.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 10:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kropotkin
      Kropotkin

      I think circumcision should the be the person’s choice when they are old enough to make that choice.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 10:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ben
      ben

      @John: The defect of foreskin you’re referring to is Phimosis, it is the only condition where circumcision is the medically sound course of action, and even then they more or less trim the opening to is it larger, not taking the whole thing. To your point, anyone who has even briefly studied the accompanying photo with this article can grasp the potential for error when you have a screaming, traumatized child, a tiny penis and something that resembles an extra large nail-clipper to do the job. I’ve always wondered about the possibility for error with some guys whose foreskins naturally do not extend to the tip of the head, whereas others would be much easier to .. get a grip on. The barbarism of this boggles the mind.

      Sidenote, I’d never thought of restoration of foreskin as anything but another repulsive body modification I want not to think about (Though it is with consent, SO power to you, boys) but after googling a little bit I’m shocked with how natural the results can appear. If I were circumcised I might feel drawn to it, especially if I felt as wronged and conflicted as some of the circumcised adults who’ve commented.

      Aug 25, 2009 at 12:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TikiHead
      TikiHead

      I am stunned at the sheer number of superb amateur clinicians to be found Queerty comments.

      Wowsers.

      Aug 25, 2009 at 12:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      My boyfriend is cut. No, he (unlike the other, uncut ones) cannot come unless with his own deathgrip, and yes, it was a very traumatic procedure for him.

      Nobody in their right mind should be advocating circumcision especially in the industrialised world.

      Aug 25, 2009 at 1:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kiwi
      Kiwi

      Uncut penis is ugly anyways, it looks like a droopy banana with the peel rotting off.

      “It should be the child’s choice”

      What a weak argument, some people who are adults don’t agree with inoculations, yet they are vaccinated as youths by their parents will. I guess we should stop immunizing babies because they may not agree with the procedure 25 years down the road! It’s up to the parents to decide what is best for their child and I support any parents right to circumsize their child and stop him from living a life with an ugly wiener.

      And for those preaching mutilation, T-Taping your cock under ones pants isn’t exactly natural nor healthy either, way to be a bunch of raging, bad sex having hypocrites.

      Aug 25, 2009 at 1:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rudy
      rudy

      @Kiwi: “Uncut penis is ugly anyways”
      Maybe you should only have sex in the dark.

      Aug 25, 2009 at 3:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mark snyder
      mark snyder

      @Shawn: Agreed, thank you! NO to circumcision!

      Aug 25, 2009 at 4:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Zee
      Zee

      If this is their argument, how about waiting with the procedure until the boy comes of age? It’s not painful in adulthood, and that way the person who owns the body – the person that will be living with the damage for the rest of his life will get to chose. The parents have no say in this matter if you ask me. And last time i checked infants are not sexually active…

      For the cleanliness part: If your willy gets THAT dirty between each time you take a bath; do it more often…

      – Vincent Zee, happy uncircumcised male in his 20’s ;)

      Aug 25, 2009 at 5:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Zee
      Zee

      @Zee:
      what i meant with it’s not painful was, it’s not any more painful for a child than an adult.

      Aug 25, 2009 at 5:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dgz
      dgz

      A THEORY: if circumcision reduces sensation, and there’s a significant recovery period… couldn’t that mean that those men had sex less often, with fewer partners? this would also lead to a decrease in HIV infection, right?

      Aug 25, 2009 at 9:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • osocubano
      osocubano

      I’m just really glad I got to keep all my skin, and met lots of fetishists.

      Aug 25, 2009 at 10:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SuperCat
      SuperCat

      Since when is it a good idea to cut off part of your penis?!

      Why would you want a knife anywhere near your penis.

      This is mutilating babies, plain and simple. I don’t even approve of it for religious reason.

      Aug 25, 2009 at 11:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brad
      Brad

      Incredibly IRRESPONSIBLE article, queerty. Normally I enjoy your thought-provoking, almost tabloid-y headlines that overstate the points of your articles. That’s fine for celeb trash, but when it comes to something as serious as HIV, shame on you.

      I am uncircumcised and have to deal with ignorant people like you who half-read and half-understand the results of a study like this and therefore jump to the conclusion that since I’m uncircumcised I have a higher chance of having HIV. FALSE. I have never been unsafe in my life. And as you point out, even if I were this study wouldn’t apply. It’s ridiculous. I’ve definitely had people bring it up with me in the bedroom – and while ignorance is ignorance – it’s hard to blame them when there is such unhelpful and misleading crap like this on the Internet.

      If you want to consider yourselves true “journalists,” I would recommend taking this article down. Or at least changing the headline so it’s less tabloid-y and gets to the hard facts sooner.

      As you know the majority of your readers only glance at these things, so it’s really a travesty if you’re teaching even ONE person false information in your quest to make “thought provoking” sensational claims.

      Also keep in mind that Google only caches the first part of your stories…No one bothers to get to the end of the article to get your qualification about gay people.

      Scare tactics, queerty, really? Shameful.

      Aug 25, 2009 at 1:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ben
      ben

      I’m disappointed though not surprised that this absurdist piece of journalism hasn’t been taken down yet after a consistant stream of extremely negative response, save for a few “Phsaw, uncut is ugly anyway” valley gays. It’s for the benefit of your repute, not ours that we voice our opinions, Editors.

      Aug 25, 2009 at 10:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MD
      MD

      I know that anybody can pretend to be anybody online; but I am actually a real doctor with a real practice who sees real pregnant women who ask me about circumcision for their soon-to-be-born sons.

      I don’t believe in routine neonatal circumcision, and will never perform that procedure.

      The studies presented in this extremely biased and ill-informed article don’t lead ANY doctor to think that circumcision is the answer to HIV (education and empowerment is the answer to HIV).

      While a baby is unable to make his own decisions it is up to us to make decisions for him in his best interests.

      It is NOT in his best interests to perform a surgical excision of his foreskin, exposing him to complications including excessive bleeding (sometimes requiring transfusions), overwhelming infection and damage to the surrounding structures (it is not all that uncommon in the USA to have baby boys with damaged urethra from botched circumcisions).
      Unless you expect your baby boy to be having unprotected vaginal sex any time soon, circumcision isn’t even a question. (and if you genuinely believe that study – that circumcision is the best way to prevent HIV- your son can make the choice to have an elective circumcision when he is approaching the age when he might be having unprotected sex).

      Parents would be far better to wait ten years and put time and effort into honest and accurate sex education rather than to subject their sons to an operation with many known disadvantages and many serious risks.

      Aug 26, 2009 at 11:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bob
      Bob

      Once again the greedy doctors and hospitals will make money on mutilating baby boys. Why not remove the labia of infant girls while we are at it? That is soft tissue which is possibly subjected to more infections. Oh no, the outcry by the American women would be overwhelming but these same women have no thoughts when it comes to mutilating their boys and causing them pain and loss in sexual sensitivity. Circumcision should be left to the individual to choose. I am not circumcised and it is one of the few good things my parents ever did for me.

      Aug 26, 2009 at 1:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Metaphor
      Metaphor

      It’s astonishing that the author of this article can advocate such breathtaking immorality with such ease. He then further compounds this cavalier brutality by suggesting that people who prefer unmutilated genitals are fetishists, which is such a violent inversion of common sense I can almost believe the whole thing is very bad satire.

      I suggest if the author is so fond of penises without foreskins, he can cut the foreskin off his own penis. If that decision was made for him whilst he was a defenseless baby, I sympathise with his loss but I will not sympathise with his advocacy of continuing the butchery.

      Routine genital mutilation of infants is a Bronze Age anachronism practised by people who talk to an imaginary friend in the sky. It has no place in what is supposed to be a civilised society.

      For shame.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 7:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Night
      Night

      Who the hell did this study? I am sure they manipulated the stats to prove their point. This stupid theory that genital mutilation decreases the transmission of disease will be proved incorrect. Then what? What do you tell all the males who were mutilated?

      Nov 18, 2009 at 5:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lee
      Lee

      I’m circumcised and glad.

      Feb 12, 2010 at 9:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lee
      Lee

      What the f*ck is with all this “mutilation” talk? By this definition, getting piercings is mutilation.

      Feb 12, 2010 at 9:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • truthteller
      truthteller

      People who have been circumcised should not be made to feel bad, but this practice must stop. It is mutilation, in MHO. At least they stopped the cr*ap argument that it is more hygienic.

      It’s been said before; education and condoms.

      Cutting and discarding a vital part of a boy body to half the slight possibility of a disease that can be prevented 99.9% with cheap and sometimes free condoms is irrational, inhumane and no doctor who took the hypocrites oath should perform.
      Next time do a little research, instead of publishing falsehoods that impart real people.

      http://www.cirp.org/library/hygiene/

      “The foreskin is actually designed by nature to provide protection against disease and injury.17 By understanding these protections, we allow the foreskin to function in its role of protecting the human body from infection and disease. “

      Feb 14, 2010 at 5:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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