I have blogged about this before, but it's worth repeating. The United States is showing amazing leadership in circumcising African males, as the latest story below reports, and who can quarrel with doing that on that disease-infected, foreskin-afflicted continent. But I worry that the strong campaign to circumcise African males may blind the eye to what is happening here at home. Sadly, even if the anti-circs exaggerate the numbers, more American boys, especially Latinos and blacks, are going uncircumcised. In part, that's because the government Medicaid program no longer pays for this important procedure in about a dozen states. Poor blacks and Latinos are the first to suffer.
So while we can all applaud the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. government through PEPFAR, and PSI -- let's not forget the boys at home who need to be circumcised, too.
Here's a June 11 press release from PSI:
"The Male Circumcision Partnership is launching a massive scale-up of voluntary male circumcision services in Swaziland and Zambia. The Partnership is supported by a five-year, US$50 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Population Services International (PSI). PSI and partners Marie Stopes International, Jhpiego, The Population Council and the governments of Swaziland and Zambia estimate that the project will provide voluntary male circumcision services to nearly 650,000 men."
"The Male Circumcision Partnership program in Swaziland and Zambia also builds upon the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) supported medical male circumcision activities in each country. This partnership is evidence of a strong and growing coordination among the Gates Foundation, PEPFAR and other partners under the leadership of host country governments to support evidence-based medical male circumcision for the purpose of HIV prevention."
"Cited by both the World Health Organization and UNAIDS as an "important intervention," male circumcision reduces HIV infections among men by 60%,according to scientific research -- more effective than any vaccine currently in development."