The “discovery” that “circumcision prevents AIDS” is being trumpeted around the globe as “truth,” although the trumpeters haven't even published their research. Here's the story as spun by MSNBC:
The study was conducted on more than 3,000 HIV-negative South African men, ages 18 to 24. Half of the men were randomly selected to be circumcised while the other half remained uncircumcised.
After following the men for a year, the researchers found that for every 10 uncircumcised men in the study who became infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, only an estimated three circumcised men contracted the virus, the newspaper reported.
The study is considered significant because scientists have yet to discover an effective vaccine against the HIV virus or develop a reliable way to prevent infection other than through abstinence or safe-sex practices.
Previous studies have linked circumcision with increased HIV infection.
Yes, it certainly does contradict the published research, which states:
Based on the studies published to date, recommending routine circumcision as a prophylactic measure to prevent HIV infection in Africa, or elsewhere, is scientifically unfounded.
As a Philadelphia physician who posted to caribbeannetnews.com put it succinctly:
If you study the history of male circumcision, you will see a repeating pattern of claims that it prevents any number of different ailments from epilepsy to penile cancer to venereal disease. Invariably, the “protective effects” of circumcision vanish when the variables are properly controlled.
Here is a news article about Dr. Mishra's research.
http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/cgi-scr ... 003191.htm
The news article linked to by Dr. Weinstein is this one:
Male Circumcision May Not Protect Against HIV Infection: Presented at AIDS 2006
By Danny Kucharsky TORONTO, CANADA — August 17, 2006
HIV prevalence is not necessarily lower in populations that have higher male circumcision rates, according to findings from a study of African countries presented here at the 16th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2006).
The study, which examined the association between male circumcision and HIV infection in 8 Sub-Saharan African countries, contradicts the findings of previous research and the opinion of several prominent personalities active in the fight against AIDS, such as former US President Bill Clinton.
While several studies have indicated that male circumcision has a protective effect against sexually transmitted infections (STI), including HIV infection, the evidence is inconclusive, said investigator Vinod Mishra, MD, director of research, ORC Macro, Calverton, Maryland. “We're just questioning that push,” he said of the optimism displayed by Clinton and others.
The study used demographic findings from recent demographic and health surveys in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, and Malawi, and AIDS indicator surveys from Tanzania and Uganda. The surveys were conducted from 2003 to 2005 and sample sizes ranged from 3,300 men in Lesotho to 10,000 men in Uganda.
In survey fieldwork in each country, men aged 15 to 59 gave blood for anonymous HIV testing. Information on circumcision status and on STI/STI symptoms was based on men's responses to questions in survey interviews.
Prevalence of male circumcision ranged from a high of 96% in Ghana to a low of 21% in Malawi. Among the other countries, circumcision rates were 84% in Kenya, 89% in Burkina Faso, and 25% in Uganda.
HIV prevalence was markedly lower among circumcised than uncircumcised men only in Kenya (11.5% among uncircumcised men vs 3.1% among circumcised men). A small protective effect of male circumcision was also seen in Burkina Faso (2.9% vs 1.7%, respectively) and Uganda (5.5% vs 3.7%).
In the other countries, there was either no difference in HIV rates between circumcised and uncircumcised men or circumcised men were more likely to be HIV-positive than uncircumcised men. For example, in Lesotho, HIV was seen in 23.4% of circumcised men compared with 15.4% of uncircumcised men.
“If anything, the correlation [between circumcision and HIV infection] goes the other way,” in most of the countries studied, Dr. Mishra said during his presentation on August 15th.
When adjusted for sociodemographic and behavioral factors, a small protective effect was observed in 6 of the 8 countries, but it was not statistically significant in any country, Dr. Mishra said.
In Kenya, and to a lesser extent, in Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda, circumcised men were less likely than uncircumcised men to report having had an STI or STI symptoms in the 12-month period prior to the survey (2.1% vs 5.4%, respectively). The relationship was reversed in Cameroon (8.0% vs 2.5%) and Lesotho (12.1% vs 7.5%).
With other factors controlled, male circumcision had some protective effect in 5 of the 8 countries, but the effect was statistically significant only in Tanzania.
In addition, “circumcised men tend to have more lifetime sex partners, so there's some [high-risk] behaviors that go with circumcision status,” he said.
A study limitation is that it was based on self-reported information on circumcision status and STI/STI symptoms. It also lacks data on age at circumcision and degree of circumcision, which might influence susceptibility to HIV infection.
However, Dr. Mishra said the study is consistent with other research that has failed to find a protective effect of male circumcision on HIV and STIs.
Here's what I know about circumcision — the Israelites used mass circumcision on at least one occasion as a means to weaken their enemies and kill them. This the Israelites did after they had been invited by the love-sick king Shechem of the Hivites to intermarry and share his kingdom. The Israelites used the opportunity to trick Shechem and all of his men to get their penises sliced, and as the entire male half of the nation of Hivites lay recovering from the operation, the Israelites rolled in, wiped them out, and took their wives and daughters. Surely the Hivite women were cursing their men for thinking with their dicks. After the murder was over, the Israelites had only one quibble: having used their sister Dineh for bait to trap an entire nation, she had thereby let an uncircumcised penis into her body. Her brother had a tough one for the rabbis: “Shall we deal with our sister as with an harlot?” Here's Genesis, Chapter 34:
And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.
2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.
3 And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.
4 And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.
5 And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come.
6 And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him.
7 And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob's daughter: which thing ought not to be done.
8 And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.
9 And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you.
10 And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein.
11 And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will give.
12 Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife.
13 And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:
14 And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us:
15 But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we be, that every male of you be circumcised;
16 Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.
17 But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone.
18 And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor's son.
19 And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob's daughter: and he was more honourable than all the house of his father.
20 And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying,
21 These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters.
22 Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised.
23 Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of their's be our's? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us.
24 And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.
25 And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.
26 And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out.
27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister.
28 They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field,
29 And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.
30 And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.
31 And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?