Good news for the circumcision movement! President Obama has named Thomas Frieden, MD, to be the new Director of the Centers for Disease Control. Dr. Frieden has been the New York City Health Commissioner. He drove the anti-circs crazy when the New York Times reported that NYC would recommend that all males be circumcised to prevent the spread of HIV. Frieden apparently backed away, or claimed that was never the original intent, but in a letter to the NYT on April 9, 2007, he encouraged discussion of this issue, saying he awaited "stronger evidence." His letter is below, but NOTE that it was written two years ago. In those two years, we now have incredibly strong evidence of the value of circumcision in reducing not only HIV but HPV and STDs in both men and women. Dr. Frieden's appointment is a significant blow to the anti-circumcision fanatics, as he appears to be a man who wants to follow the science.
Old Letter to NYT from new CDC Director:
"The New York City Health Department has not planned, developed or announced a campaign to encourage at-risk men to get circumcised. Like other domestic health agencies, we are encouraging people to discuss and study this issue."
"Because circumcision has the potential to decrease H.I.V. transmission by more than half, we hope that men who choose the procedure will have access to it. A campaign to promote circumcision in this country would be premature without stronger evidence, but the time is right for a communitywide dialogue."
Thomas R. Frieden, M.D. New York City Health Commissioner New York, April 9, 2007