Sunday, August 23, 2009

US Health Officials Closer to Pushing Universal Circumcision

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


  1. That's good news, I saw it today. I strongly believe that all baby boys be circumcised right away in the minutes after birth.

  2. Anonymous just illustrates the craziness. What's the tearing hurry? He's just been born. Can't he have a little rest first?

    But rationality isn't any of the circumcising faction's strong suit, as this story illustrates. Circumcision hasn't worked in the US, so now they want to make it universal...

    Actually the main reason the circumcision rate in the US fell is probably because US parents had a rush of brains to the head, and started to rebel against the lemming-like compulsion to cut the best part off babies' genitals and join the rest of the developed world in leaving him to enjoy it. Now a lot of cut men can't stand the idea that anyone can have MORE PENIS than them, so they've renewed the attack.

  3. well, what a great post to wake up to!

    im so happy the CDC is moving towards such a decision, one they have made using SCIENCE and not the emotive rhetoric that the anti-circ brigade is pushing.

    hugh7, your desparate post screams defeat, i am elated that science has won the fight, this is a huge victory i am so glad we have won! :D

  4. To respond to Hugh7's comments:

    Circumcision hasn't worked in the US, so now they want to make it universal...

    What is meant by "Circumcision hasn't worked in the US"? Presumably, "worked" in this context means that HIV rates are lower than they would otherwise have been. The problem is, we cannot know what HIV rates would have been in a parallel universe, for the obvious reason that we don't inhabit that universe. So claiming that circumcision hasn't worked is nonsensical.

    Now a lot of cut men can't stand the idea that anyone can have MORE PENIS than them, so they've renewed the attack.

    Oh for goodness sake! Please, this discussion is for grown-ups! Could you please not reduce it to pointless and bizarre personal attacks?

  5. Finally! And it will be mandatory: no cut, no federal dollars. Count on 99% compliance for that reason alone. The anti-circ nuts have lost. A foreskin is just gross. I think they ought to make it mandatory for going to school. Basically this will end the AIDS epidemic. Really, it's pretty funny. I bet every CDC doc has a good tight circumcision too, and they know what it's about.

  6. There are very few men who contract HIV through heterosexual intercourse. Circumcision does precisely nothing to prevent m-t-m transmission, or prevent intravenous spreading of HIV. Accordingly: mandatory circumcision would do very little to end AIDS in America.

    Heterosexual men just aren't at enough risk for it to make a difference that outweighs the risks, the consent issues (why not leave it for the men to decide personally, considering the data & their lifestyle then making a decision concerning their own body?) & the removal of erogenous zones which a circumcision involves.

  7. Strangely absent in this blog is the non science presented by Operation Abraham at the CDC sponsored 2009 National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta, Georgia,
    As covered by by attendee David Llewellyn: "At one of the last sessions, the speaker from "Operation Abraham," an Israel-based group that apparently hopes to be engaged to assist the U.S. in circumcising black and Hispanic males, put a photo of an intact male up on the screen. The figure of an elephant had been drawn around the penis so that the intact penis looked like an elephant's trunk. The words "Yes! A circumcision please!" had been added to the photo." and "The foregoing shows the mindset of the CDC. They seem to have abandoned all scientific objectivity to promote a useless and mutilating surgery."

    So there you have it Operation Abraham is not scientific, likes to equate the intact member to that of an animal, is racist in wanting to mass circumcise specifically Black and Hispanic males of all ages, and takes pride in believing all intact penises are telling them "Yes! A circumcision please!"...
    Obviously the animal in this room wasn't the huge elephant of ethics that no one likes to talk about, but is rather Operation Abraham.

    Someone Mundane-"CDC now needs to stand for 'Circumcision Distribution Center'.",
    1Taoist-"CDC stands for Center for Destroying Cock."

    Rather than do nothing and saving $1 billion each year, this blogger would like to have more of this: couple seeking $2 million from federal government for personal injury & wrongful death over son"s circ death #i2

  8. As for whether this topic is for adults, I beg to differ. I chose circumcision at the age of 5 knowing full well and remembering all of the experience of deciding, then at my pediatrician's office and the hospital circumcision and stay. I chose it because I liked the recvealing look of the glans. Happy with the look then but puberty hit and callousing became very noticeable for years by the loss of sensation. Noting too the many foreplays that one can't do without a foreskin. As a kid I would too have understood such loss and function of the foreskin had it been told to me. Circumcision is not age/topic dependent. Neither has it yet been fully consented to because of the lack of information given, so that people like me will know it is the biggest mistake of their lives. And yes I had full use of my foreskin (except of course the undeveloped sexual receptors and apocrine glands).