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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » South Africa considers national circumcision policy in fight against HIV

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Author Topic: South Africa considers national circumcision policy in fight against HIV
Kent
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Thanks to practically NO ONE for encouraging me to get my son circumcised. [Smile]

Quote from article
quote:
The head of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society has called on the health department to speed up its work on a national circumcision policy, after two new African studies released this week showed men who underwent the procedure were 50% less likely to get HIV from heterosexual sex than men who did not.

“If we had a vaccine this effective, we’d roll it out tomorrow,” said Dr Francois Venter, the society’s president.

Promiscuity has its dangers, but your local rabbi can help!
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DonaldD
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Kent, since your son will never have sex outside of wedlock, it doesn't really come into play...
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TommySama
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That's interesting. Is it because the foreskin holds... liquid longer?
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kenmeer livermaile
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"Is it because the foreskin holds... liquid longer?"

I propose we move this sentence to "the worst posting game ever" thread.

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MattP
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A wild-ass guess with no basis in actual knowledge:

Perhaps foreskins (or the flesh underneath) are more prone to "damage" than circumcised penis(s?, es?, i?) resulting in a statistically higher occurance of open wounds that are conducive to transmitting HIV.

[ December 15, 2006, 05:35 PM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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Jesse
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We've been here before.

There are several factors, including the nature of white blood cells found under the foreskin and the fact that HPV just loves foreskin tissue, and the growths it creates, if untreated, iritate the vagina of the female partner and provide an easy acess path to the males bloodstream.

Vaccinating males against HPV would, of course, just be silly.

The thing is, anything other than convincing men in South Africa that unprotected sex is a death sentence will only fuel the spread of this disease. Already, women are about three times more likely to contract HIV from a single act of intercourse, and now it will be what, six times?

In all seriousness, imagine yourself an African woman trying to convince her partner to wrap it, if he thinks HIS risks are minimal thanks to circumcision?

You know what is a LOT more than 50% effective, whether or not you're cut? Here's a hint, most of em are made of latex.

[ December 15, 2006, 05:43 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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TommySama
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I never quite understood why they don't use condoms. I mean, I know it's better, but if you aren't sure about your partner it seems like a no brainer (to me.)
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PanHeraclitean
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Good point Jesse. I was going to post awhile ago that this initiative would FIX things for a little while but unprotected sex would still be a problem. Even protected sex could be a problem. You never have a 100% effectiveness rate.
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Jesse
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Absolutely true, Pan, but reducing risks 90%+ per act for both partners instead of 50% per act for one is a pretty significant difference.

Don't get me wrong, with unlimited resources it wouldn't be a choice, but I don't think a campaign to promote circumcision that can only come at the expense of campaigns to promote intelligent sexual choices and safer sex practices is a good idea.

Young males with even greater delusions of invincibility aren't going to solve the Aids crisis.

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DonaldD
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On the other hand, a reduced male infection rate will also lead to a reduced female infection rate so...

Putting it another way, I really doubt men who have been cut (usually as children) will have significantly different sexual habits than their uncut brethren... "hey - my parents circumcised me as a child. I must be impervious to AIDS!"

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Jesse
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Donald, we're talking about a culture in which a lot of people still think boinking a virgin will cure AIDS.

We're talking about a population with an infection rate of over 15% for people in their 20's.

We're talking about a 50% reduction in transmission from female to male per sexual encounter. Other than prostitutes or rape victims, how many people have sex with a woman only once?

Much of the benefit would be achieved by making the HPV vaccine available, and debatebly mosquito nets would do more to stop the spread.

How do you convince people to adopt the practice without telling them "It will reduce your chance of getting AIDS"?

We live in a world where idiot teenagers rely on the spray and pray method because it reduces the risk of pregnancy. You think the same sort of idiot teenagers wouldn't rely on circumcision "reducing" their risk of contracting AIDS?

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