Does circumcision prevent HIV in women?
No, but it does seem to prevent proper brain functioning.
In what I can only describe as an act of pure desparate idiocy, Diane Cole tries to launch a "rebuttal" to the proposed ban on male circumcision that will be on the San Francisco ballot this November, shooting her own self in the foot.
And then our very own HIV test results—his and hers—arrived. Peter was positive. I was negative. How had it happened that I never became HIV-positive myself?
It wasn't until recently that we knew: He was circumcised.
The claim is that circumcision is supposed to prevent HIV transmission in MEN, but this seems to escape her...
Poor circumcision advocates. So desperately they want to find some pseudo-scientific alibi for deliberate child abuse that they forget to switch their brains on.
Here's Cole's attempt to sound intelligent:
"...here is the reason I am alive today: In the same way that circumcision vastly diminishes the chance of infecting women with the human papillomavirus that causes cervical cancer, studies suggest that circumcision also helps guard against the transmission of the HIV virus. In both cases, cells on the inside of the male foreskin are implicated in spreading the virus. But if the foreskin is removed, a source of infection is also removed."
Actually, it has never been proven that circumcision reduces HPV, nor HIV for that matter. Few people know this, but the HIV "studies" are nothing but statistical analyses of data hand-picked by circumcision advocates that call themselves "scientists."
It's true. Ask a circumcision advocate to tell you how exactly circumcision prevents anything, and all they can do is point to three so-called "randomized controll trials" in Africa and give you that magical 60% figure we've all heard. But they can never, nor will they ever tell you with 100% certainty how exactly this happens. They cannot furnish a causal link, only ad-hoc/post-hoc explanations that they can't demonstrably prove. They may as well be trying to explain the existence of god.
Not even Cole could tell you. She mentions that cells inside the foreskin are implicated, but did she actually even bother to check which ones?
The cells she refers to are the Langerhans cells, and they were implicated in the spread of HIV, not HPV.
Actually, the Langerhans cells hypothesis was blown out of the water a long time ago.
Studies found that not only are Langerhans cells found all over the body and that their complete removal is virtually impossible, it was also found that Langerhans cells that are present in the foreskin produce Langerin, a substance that has been proven to kill the HIV virus on contact, acting as a natural barrier to HIV-1.
To date, there is no working hypothesis behind any of the so-called "studies" in Africa. It's all pure assertion based on skewed, carefully selected data. Entire "mass circumcision campaigns" are being carried out in Africa based on "studies" that don't even have a working hypothesis.
In fact, recent reports are showing that the promotion of circumcision in Africa is actually confusing Africans, giving them a false sense of security, encouraging complacency in the use of condoms, making the situation WORSE.
Americans have a cultural bias in favor of circumcision that will only allow them to see "studies" and "evidence" in favor of circumcision, and none that contradict it. The following information is found in many other of my posts regarding circumcision and the assertion that it prevents HIV:
Countries in Africa where HIV was found to be more prevalent among the circumcised:
Cameroon table 16.9, p17 (4.1% v 1.1%)
Ghana table 13.9 (1.6% v 1.4%)
Lesotho table 12.9 (22.8% v 15.2%)
Malawi table 12.6, p257 (13.2% v 9.5%)
Rwanda , table 15.11 (3.5% v 2.1%)
Swaziland table 14.10 (21.8% v 19.5%)
Studies that found contradicting data:
According to USAID, "There appears no clear pattern of association between male circumcision and HIV prevalence—in 8 of 18 countries with data, HIV prevalence is lower among circumcised men, while in the remaining 10 countries it is higher."
"Conclusions: We find a protective effect of circumcision in only one of the eight countries for which there are nationally-representative HIV seroprevalence data. The results are important in considering the development of circumcision-focused interventions within AIDS prevention programs."
"Results: ...No consistent relationship between male circumcision and HIV risk was observed in most countries."
Other countries where both HIV and circumcision are prevalent:
According to Malaysian AIDS Council vice-president Datuk Zaman Khan, more than 70% of the 87,710 HIV/AIDS sufferers in the country are Muslims. In Malaysia the majority of the males in the Muslim population are circumcised, whereas circumcision is uncommon in the non-Muslim community. This means that HIV is spreading in the community where most men are circumcised at an even faster rate, than in the community where most men are intact.
In the 2010 Global AIDS report released by UNAIDS in late November, the Philippines was one of seven nations in the world which reported over 25 percent in new HIV infections between 2001 and 2009, whereas other countries have either stabilized or shown significant declines in the rate of new infections. Among all countries in Asia, only the Philippines and Bangladesh are reporting increases in HIV cases, with others either stable or decreasing.
Despite circumcision being near-universal, it hasn't stopped HIV transmission in Israel.
The most obvious smoking gun: The United States of America
Circumcision hasn't stopped HIV in our own country.
And, it hasn't stopped other STDs either.
In America, the majority of the male population is circumcised, approximately 80%, while in most countries in Europe, circumcision is uncommon. Despite these facts, our country does poorly.
"So there you have it: My husband's circumcision saved my life."
Oblivious to her is the fact that it was her HUSBAND whom circumcision was supposed to benefit.
In fact, "studies show" that women are 50% more likely to acquire HIV from circumcised men.
Cole is luckier than she cares to realize.
"If the San Francisco initiative passes, and encourages other communities to do the same, who knows whose lives won't be saved."
The lives of circumcised men, that's for sure.
The "studies" that say circumcision might "reduce the risk of HIV" have serious flaws. They lack working hypotheses and their conclusions don't correlate with real world data.
But even assuming that they were 100% accurate, the reduction in HIV transmission would still only be 60% over a period of 1.5 years (the short duration of the studies), and only in female to male transmission. In light of the fact that condoms reduce the risk of HIV transmission, not to mention the transmission of other STDs, by over 90%, in BOTH partners, but most of all, in light of the fact that babies are at absolute zero risk for sexually transmitted HIV, or any other STDs for that matter, these "studies" would still be a moot point.
But we must ask ourselves, how much do we actually care about so-called "medical benefits?"
Do we? Really?
What if there were "studies" that showed that female circumcision offered "potential medical benefits" for girls? Would we allow, request it for our daughters? What if there were "studies" that said female circumcision "reduced" the likelihood of some disease? What if "studies showed"that female circumcision "reduced the risk of HIV transmission?" Because there are few studies that show precisely this:
"Female circumcision results in a reduction of infections resulting from microbes gathering under the hood of the clitoris"
"Attacks of herpes and genital ulcers are less severe and less harmful with women who have been circumcised"
How interested would we be in the "potential medical benefits" for girls? Would we support further "research" into the matter? Would we allow the National Institutes of Health, Johns Hopkins etc., to fund "research" in Africa? Well what about countries where female circumcision isn't as "severe?"
But let's ask a different question, would we support "research" in finding alternative ways to provide the same "medical benefits" as male circumcision? If doctors came into your child's birthing room and said "We have great news! This new vaccine offers the same protections as circumcision and more! Now we don't have to circumcise your child anymore!" How would American parents react?
As always, the bottom line...
The foreskin is not a birth defect. Nor is it a congenital deformity or a genetic anomaly akin to a 6th finger or a cleft. The foreskin is normal, healthy tissue found in all males at birth.
Circumcision in healthy boys is the destruction of normal, healthy tissue. It permanently alters the appearance and mechanics of the penis, and it puts a child at risk of infection, disfigurment, complete ablation and even death.
Thanks to research and modern medicine, we now have better, more effective, less-invasive ways to prevent disease, so that circumcision is not needed anymore (actually, it was never needed).
Unless there is a medical or clinical indication, the circumcision of healthy, non-consenting individuals is by very definition infant genital mutilation. It is child abuse and a violation of basic human rights, and doctors have no business performing it in healthy, non-consenting individuals, much less giving his parents any kind of "choice."