Good news out of the NY Times today. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) appears closer than ever to recommending that every male in America be circumcised, preferably at birth. This, of course, is the logical outcome of all the studies over the last decade that demonstrate conclusively that circumcision has a positive health benefit on not only the circumcised male but also his partners and society as a whole.
The story published this Sunday quotes Dr. Peter Kilmarx, the CDC's chief of epidemiology, as saying, "What we’ve heard from our consultants is that there would be a benefit for infants from infant circumcision, and that the benefits outweigh the risks.” The CDC is expected to make its recommendation public by the end of the year, although anti-circ foreskin lovers are waging an all-out effort to save the foreskin through a misleading campaign of lies and innuendoes.
The Times reporter also notes that "circumcision will be discussed this week at the C.D.C.’s National H.I.V. Prevention Conference in Atlanta, which will be attended by thousands of health professionals and H.I.V. service providers."
The United States was once a truly clean-cut country but circumcision rates have fallen because the American Academy of Pediatrics abandoned its pro-circ position in favor of "neutrality." That caused some insurance companies and state Medicaid programs to abandon payment for newborn circumcision.
But as the Times reporter noted, "The academy is revising its guidelines, however, and is likely to do away with the neutral tone in favor of a more encouraging policy stating that circumcision has health benefits even beyond H.I.V. prevention, like reducing urinary tract infections for baby boys, said Dr. Michael Brady, a consultant to the American Academy of Pediatrics."
"He said the academy would probably stop short of recommending routine surgery, however. 'We do have evidence to suggest there are health benefits, and families should be given an opportunity to know what they are,' he said."
Curiously, it's the CDC that is taking the lead to return America to a fully circumcised clean-cut status, while the AAP -- if Dr. Brady is correct -- seems more reluctant to just say what most baby docs know is true: a clean circumcised penis is the healthy choice.
You can read the full NY Times article at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/24/health/policy/24circumcision.html?hp