Saturday, June 13, 2009

Americans Lead Way for Africa on Circumcision, But Don't Forget the Homefront

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."


  1. Nowhere in their analysis does the World Health Organisation claim that male circumcision is a vaccine against HIV you are misrepresenting what they have said.

    Additionally the WHO have completely forgot to mention the antomical function of the foreskin and the effects of its loss on the sexual experience of the male and his partner.

    Far from promoting leadership in this area the United States is seeking to export a known health hazard to the developing world for profit foreskins are as valuable after removal as they are before.

    Any studies into the effects of male circumcision on the individual or society must include the anatomy of the body part being remove and these studies did not.

  2. HIV rates in Swaziland:
    Circumcised men 21.5%
    Non-circumcised men 19.8%
    Source: National Health and Demographic Surveys.

  3. My mistake. It's a little bit worse:
    Circumcised men 21.8%
    Non-circumcised men 19.5%

  4. the foreskin has no function, the ''function you are refering to is one that no-circ has constructed to try and make their desperate and failing argument more beleivable.

    no-circ members are getting desperate because SCIENCE is *proving* as many of us allready knew that circumcision has heaps of benefits and is just a part of having a baby boy.

  5. Mike - let the boy decide for himself whether he wants a foreskin.

  6. Linda, I for one have never said that circumcision is a vaccine against HIV. It's not. But it does reduce a man's chance of getting HIV by 60%. So why are the anti-circs so dead-set against this important prophylactic for our sons?

    Mike is correct. Whatever use the foreskin had when we were apelike in the jungles has long since disappeared. The anti-circs are trying to create a "purpose" for the prepuce when none exists, except to harm a male and his partners. And to suggest that there's something "wrong" with circumcised males is the worst fallacy of all.

  7. the function of the foreskin can be found here


    oh linda, why on earth should i beleive a little fact sheet made up by your no-circ cronies? especially one that references a publication called 'the rape of the phallus'.

    what an utter load of bullshit. you people are so DESPERATE to make up some/any kind of function for the foreskin!! but ironicly by doing so you further expose yourselves as complete and utter whackos.

  9. Mike the link is to a video not a fact sheet as I said before been working in this area for 13 years and educate the health service. All the males I know which is the majority of the population in ireland have a foreskin and know it has a function.
    The psycholgical consequences of the removal of the foreskin are documented by one of the leading mental health charities in the United Kingdom. the charity is called MIND and has no connection whatsoever to us people as you call us.

  10. "The Rape of the Phallus" was not a publication, but a witty and comprehensive early survey of circumcision by a doctor in a respected medical journal. (Morgan, William, MD "The Rape of the Phallus" Journal of the American Medical Association, 193, No 3, pp 123-4 July 19, 1965) In it he says:

    "Why is the operation of circumcision practised? One might as well attempt to explain the rites of voodoo!"

    (Actually, I think your chances of explaining voodoo would be better.)