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Study: Circumcision Protects Against HIV

A new landmark Australian Study shows that circumcision can protect against HIV in gay men who are tops. “We have shown for the first time that men who predominantly take on the insertive role in sex are less likely to contract HIV if they’ve been circumcised,” said Dr David Templeton. Men who were mostly tops had an 85% reduced risk of getting HIV if they were circumcised.

The study followed 1,400 HIV-negative guys (two-thirds were circumcised) for fours years and tracked their HIV status. 53 Developed HIV. Of those 53, only 7 were tops. The results of the study suggest 5 could have been avoided if they had been cut.

Gay educators worry that the results will lead gay men to “throw out their condoms if they’ve had the snip, wrongly believing they are naturally protected.” That seems unlikely, we’re not that stupid.

By:           Ryan Davis
On:           Sep 18, 2008
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 37 Comments
    • Frank OHara
      Frank OHara

      Well, it does appear you are that stupid! You have bought this study hook line and sinker without further investigation.

      Four studies this year by four different researchers in Australia, New Zealand, The US and England all failed to find any difference in the HIV/AIDS acquisition rate between circumcised and genitally intact men. If there had only been one previous study, it could be chalked up to error in one or the other studies but to find such a huge difference to the four studies strongly suggests outright fraud and deception.

      For some reason, circumcised men seem to want other men to also be circumcised and I wonder if Dr. David Templeton is himself circumcised and is trying to justify his own loss.

      .

      Sep 18, 2008 at 7:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mark
      mark

      circumcised and POZ for 23 years…f*ck this study, wear a condom.

      Sep 18, 2008 at 7:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Erick
      Erick

      I cant understand why they keep doing this studies. The only way to reduce your chances of getting it is having safe sex. Period.

      You might not be stupid, although the use of that line makes it debatable, but many gay men are at the least uninformed or looking for an excuse to not use a condom.

      Bringing up this information without putting it in perspective is almost irresponsible. Careless…yes

      Sep 18, 2008 at 7:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Super Cat
      Super Cat

      Circumcision is wrong. Why do people thing mutilating babies is a good thing?!?!

      Sep 18, 2008 at 7:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mark
      mark

      How does this study square with the HUGE heterosexual spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa where circumcision is pretty rare?

      Sep 18, 2008 at 7:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ryan
      Ryan

      Well, Mark, I think this study would actually square perfectly with the high rate of HIV infection in Africa, right? I mean, the study says that uncircumsized men are more likely to contract the virus. Men in Africa are mostly uncircumsized. Thus, a high rate of infection, according to this study, should be expected.

      And I agree… wearing a fucking condom. Jeesh.

      Sep 18, 2008 at 8:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jean Meiring
      Jean Meiring

      Certainly, in sub-Saharan Africa, most men are cut, no? Circumcision is a traditional cultural practice in Nguni cultures.

      Sep 18, 2008 at 8:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HL
      HL

      My whole thing is, that is still an extremely small sample to come to that conclusion. If the study covered more men in more countries, I think it could carry more weight.

      Sep 18, 2008 at 8:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Qjersey
      Qjersey

      Gee Frank, what studies are you reading? Not the ones that public health people and scientists are…or maybe you are just the typical human who only reads things you agree with.

      you can go to Science Daily and read this article, that actually posts REFERENCES

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080804155120.htm

      and yes, gay men are that stupid, I have met too many “tops” and straight guys who think they can stick it anywhere because “bottoms” and “women” are more at risk.

      and circumcision is NOT mutilation, it is practiced in many cultures around the world, and no the Europeans did not introduce it to others.

      Equating male circumcision with mutilation or female circumcision is moronic. Mutilation would be cutting the entire head of the cock off! (which is basically what gets done to women, they cut the clit off!)

      Sep 18, 2008 at 8:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andre
      Andre

      Shouldn’t the question be how these 53 men developped HIV in the first place – it would seem clear that they were infected by having unsafe sex… clearly we are that stupid

      Sep 18, 2008 at 8:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AB
      AB

      Tampering with an unwilling subjects body for an unnecessary procedure is wrong and a multination. Just because many barbaric tribes across the world practice it or that circumcision does less damage does not make it any less a mutilation. When it comes to a non defective and private part of the body, parents should treat their child like the adult they expect him to become and leave it alone for him to decide in the future.

      Sep 18, 2008 at 9:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 4Skin4Babies
      4Skin4Babies

      Some observations:
      1. The U.S. has some of the the highest rates of HIV in industrialized countries, along with the highest rate of circumcision. Enough said.

      2. Reduced chance of HIV is NOT protection, therefore the title is irresponsible. This just means that circumcision may buy you a few extra chances, but irresponsible behavior WILL catch up with you.

      3. Funny how throughout history circumcision has been pushed as a cure for some ailment. From dementia to urinary tract infection, to penile cancer, to sore throat, whatever. When will people stop this madness?

      4. Some of these studies were carried out completely flawed e.g. the freshly circumcised group in African studies had to abstain for a couple of months following surgery, while the uncirc’ed group carried on as usual. No wonder their HIV rates were higher.
      In the case of these flawed studies, one has to wonder who is pushing what agenda and why.

      Sidenote:
      Gee, QJersey, the comparison between female and male mutilation isn’t “moronic”, circumcision is “moronic”. Because it IS mutilation.

      There are many degrees of female mutilation. E.g. Some only pierce the clit to “purify” the individual, but it is not cut off. Technically speaking then, that method is actually less invasive than male circumcision. All types of female mutilation are against human rights in Western countries, but male circ is ok. THAT is “moronic”.

      Sep 18, 2008 at 10:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ryan
      Ryan

      @4Skin4Babies: So, just so that I’m clear on this… what you’re saying is, you’d choose foreskin over a reduction in HIV infection? You’re saying that just because circumcision doesn’t prevent HIV 100%, it’s not worth considering?

      I’ll admit, I would tend to agree with you that circumcision is unnecessary and I’ve even voiced this to friends who were debating about having their sons circumcised. However, I am not so dogmatic about it that I wouldn’t consider it if there were actual benefits to it and there are now studies that suggest there might be. Of course more research should be done to determine whether there is actually a link or not, but I don’t think you should dismiss it out of hand just because you’ve decided “foreskin=good, circumcision=bad.”

      Sep 19, 2008 at 12:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ali-Oop
      Ali-Oop

      There is no lie that the pimps of perversion won’t persist with. Their real motive is to spread their perversion as far as they can so that they seem NORMAL, rather than the baby molesting criminals that they THEMSELVES don’t even know that they are!

      Sep 19, 2008 at 1:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 4Skin4Babies
      4Skin4Babies

      Ryan:
      When adults CHOOSE to have it done, that’s one thing. But studies like this one have a snowball effect. In some African countries, boys / men are now forcibly circumcised against their will as part of an HIV prevention government policy. In the US, these studies further encourage expectant parents to choose routine circumcision for their babies. Parenting message boards are now full of the “circumcision prevents AIDS” mantra. And so the “dangerous foreskin” myth lives on.

      I was making a case against the circumcision of children, because that’s where these studies have the greatest influence. I don’t believe uncirc’ed gay men will be lining up to get it done, however thousands of babies will be snipped because of it.

      Sep 19, 2008 at 2:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ggreen
      ggreen

      Every time one of these studies on circumcision gets published (and there have been many over the years) the whackos come out of the woodwork. The are just like any other anti-choice group trying to force their opinions on everyone else. If you don’t like circumcision don’t have one or don’t do it to your male children. Let everyone else make up his or her own mind. Geez.

      Sep 19, 2008 at 9:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Santos
      John Santos

      “The are just like any other anti-choice group trying to force their opinions on everyone else.”

      The problem is, ggreen, circs are being promoted as the new cure all for HIV; reducing attention which shuld be paid to condoms and monogamy. Circ has been a cure looking for a disease since the late eighteen hundreds. It’s no longer about cut vs. uncut–it’s about life vs. death.

      Sep 19, 2008 at 10:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Darth Paul
      Darth Paul

      Actually, most dudes ARE pretty stupid when it comes to sex. That’s why so many (queer) dudes are HIV positive despite being otherwise intelligent and astute.

      Studies like these DO, in fact, encourage certain types to be flippant about safer sex; much like the study earlier this year that said poz people with undetectable viral loads could have unprotected sex with their partners with insignificant probability of infecting them.

      Sep 19, 2008 at 10:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 4Skin4Babies
      4Skin4Babies

      GGREEN:
      You’re making 0 sense. You’re calling people like me “whacko” anti-coice, when we advocate that men should be in charge of their own organs.

      Parents who chop it off are the “whacko”, anti-choice bunch: what choice is left for these boys when they grow up?

      Check your logic before you post and insult others.

      Sep 19, 2008 at 12:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • No 4
      No 4

      this has got to be the stupidest thing I’ve read all year. 53% Contracted HIV? SAD and I am sure it had nothing to do with a cut or uncut c@ck. Did they also check if they swallowed? Snowballed? Felched? Were cracked/methed out?

      I am uncut and proud and safe. That is all there is to it. I was born this way. F@ck mutilated c@cks.

      Sep 19, 2008 at 12:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Waah
      Waah

      Wow, the anti-circumcision folks are starting to sound more and more like the anti-vaccination people (they used the whole “baby doesn’t get a say” argument too). The data continues to mount… circumcision reduces the risk of penile HIV acquisition, but anti-circs just keep spouting the same “but… but… but it’s mutilation” nonsense.

      Sep 19, 2008 at 1:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CHURCHILL-Y
      CHURCHILL-Y

      Who funded this study the Australian Abrahamic society? Mutilating kids against their will is wrong! But if you’re a grown up and still want to butcher your foreskin, go ahead and do it.

      Sep 19, 2008 at 2:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AB
      AB

      When infants start fucking around then it may make sense to mutilate them. Until then leave it alone and let the man choose how his body will be will be old enough to determine his own sexual actions.

      Unlike vaccinations this procedure has no benefits in the civilized world.

      Sep 19, 2008 at 5:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • andromedus
      andromedus

      Relativistically speaking:

      Scientists looking for new ways to stop the spread of HIV = credible.

      Anonymous blog posters who can’t seem to make a point without using inflammatory activist speak = not credible.

      Sep 19, 2008 at 6:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hugh7
      Hugh7

      Anecdotally, a good top is hard to find, suggesting that bottoms outnumber tops. And we know that top-to-bottom transmission is far easier than the reverse, and we know why – because the function of the colon is to extract fluids, and because it is susceptible to tearing. Therefore, circumcising tops is a REALLY inefficient way of preventing HIV spread (and circumcising bottoms is useless). And if a top is unwilling to wear a condom, how willing will he be to be circumcised? So is is those who are already careful who are more likely to come forward. (And cutting babies because they might grow up to be tops is outrageous.)

      Nobody’s looking at any effect of circumcision in the other direction. It would be almost impossible to measure the HIV infection of bottoms against the circumcision status of the tops who gave it to them, but it seems highly likely that the keratinised glans of a penis lacking its moving part is more likely to damage a man’s colon than an intact one. And there’s lots of anecdotal evidence that circumcised men are more vigorous in intercourse than intact ones (and plenty of visual evidence from US vs European porn), and we know why that should be, too. With fewer nerve endings, they need more stimulation to achieve the same effect. Therefore, it seems at least plausible that circumcising tops would INCREASE HIV transmission to their partners.

      But never mind, any study saying “circumcision is good” will always get more publicity than one that says it isn’t.

      Sep 19, 2008 at 6:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hugh7
      Hugh7

      I said “it seems highly likely that the keratinised glans of a penis lacking its moving part is more likely to damage a man’s colon than an intact one”. I could have added “or a woman’s vagina”. Nobody seems to have studied that, either.

      And how much statistical validity can there possibly be with only seven tops infected? Number of partners, viral load, condom use and other factors could easily overthow those figures.

      Sep 19, 2008 at 6:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jimmy
      Jimmy

      Wow this article was an amazingly glib piece of reporting, they didn’t even give you the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Here is a better summary:

      http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/1318360/2082743

      Yes, there seemed to be a risk reduction of those who are were mostly ‘tops’ However, as Hugh pointed out how much weight could this carry? None.

      After following these 1400 men over the course of four years only 53 seroconverted and of those only 7 fit the category of ‘could have been protected’. Over four years. What was NOT mentioned was the circumcision would not provide any overall protection to gay men in general.

      “That’s only nine percent of all HIV infections overall that can be attributed to being uncircumcised, not enough to advocate throwing out condoms or advocating widespread circumcision,” said Dr David Templeton, from the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research in Sydney.

      “And in a public health sense, a mass circumcision program is very unlikely to be an effective or cost-effective way to go,” said Stevie Clayton, chief executive of the AIDS Council of NSW.

      As it happens, this study mirrors the results of at least three others done this past year of similar size or larger including another from Sidney presented in October 2007, one done in the US and presented in December 2007, and one presented just last month in London.

      There are no short cuts to preventing HIV infection. One can either practice safe sex or one will eventually become infected. It really is that simple. Judging from the article and some of the comments the quoted gay educators seem justified in their concern.

      Sep 19, 2008 at 11:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stan
      Stan

      Circumcision is like a cheap condom that breaks 40% of the time.

      Sep 20, 2008 at 12:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hardmannyc
      hardmannyc

      Amazing how every time there’s a study about HIV & circumcision, it brings out the cut nuts. I’m circumcised, and I guess it’s totally a societally conditioned thing, but I just find uncut cocks gross. I also acknowledge that maybe the pleasure diminished by the lack of foreskin, but I’ve always managed to have a good time in bed somehow.

      Sep 20, 2008 at 7:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • whatever
      whatever

      No, that’s backwards. People who CUT babies are cut-nuts.

      But if you’re a grownup, cut yourself any which way you wish. Sculpt your c@ck into an ampersand for all I care. Just keep the pervert cut-nuts away from babies.

      Sep 20, 2008 at 10:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Perfectly pouchless
      Perfectly pouchless

      Why do guys who sport a “shawl” always get so defensive when they learn that it isn’t Nature’s perfect creation? Seriously, lighten up!

      Sep 21, 2008 at 9:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TLCTugger
      TLCTugger

      Foreskin feels REALLY good.

      I think without the foreskin’s 20,000 pleasure-receptive nerve endings and the exquisite frictionless rolling/gliding action it provides for intimacy, men are less likely to use a condom because condoms further thwart pleasure sensations.

      HIS body HIS decision

      Sep 21, 2008 at 11:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hugh7
      Hugh7

      Perfectly pouchless: No, that’s backwards. People who’ve had their “shawl” cut off (about 1/4 of the world’s men) are defensive. Of course it’s not Nature’s perfect creation, nothing is, but it’s most usually a whole lot better than its lack. At least Hardmannyc acknowledges that his pleasure may be diminished, but it’s as difficut to tell a one-eyed person about 3D vision or a one-eared person about stereo, as to tell a cut man about the “symphony of sensation” he is missing.

      Regardless, circumcising to prevent HIV remains highly dubious and cutting babies remains a human rights violation.

      Sep 21, 2008 at 7:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • drew
      drew

      This article omits most of the other conclusions of this study, namely that over all circumcision made no difference to the infiection rates among Gay men and the study authors stated that circumcision can not be recommened becuase it provides no protection for 91% of gay men and inseritve partners have a very low risk regardless of circumcision status.
      it pisses me off when people decide to edit to support there own spurious claims.

      Sep 21, 2008 at 10:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • eric
      eric

      I’m UC sexually active with men for 25 years and HIV-, mostly top however mostly safe. There are different types of UC too, some skins are really tight others nice and loose like mine. I’m sure there’s a higher risk with the tight ones however the reality is that if you have safer sex and don’t have sex with HIV + people you won’t become positive. I love my foreskin, don’t mind the cut but whatever. I say leave the boys uncut until they are old enough to decide.

      Sep 22, 2008 at 5:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan
      Alan

      That is quite right.For that reason millions of males around the world are circumcised.You are free to adopt circumcision or not.

      Mar 27, 2009 at 7:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hugh7
      Hugh7

      Alan: “You are free to adopt circumcision or not” only IF it was not forced on you as a baby. And the “reason millions of males around the world are circumcised” is mainly conformity and habit. The number of men who choose to be circumcised after experiencing sex with a whole penis is infinitesimal.

      Mar 28, 2009 at 5:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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